Since starting AirStream Books last year, your publisher has had many thoughts (first, second, and otherwise) about the essential nature of e-book publishing. The days are over when a published print title often represented years of work and many thousands of dollars in publishing costs. Now the route between private idea and public accessibility is a short one indeed. Any crank with a computer and e-publishing software can be an author, and with the help of social media to promote his or her work, can reach a theoretically limitless audience.
Of course this is a historic shift which many people have debated, and no doubt the debate will continue, but from your publisher’s standpoint, the advantage seems strongly on the side of e-book publishing. Just as the printing press and later, the mechanical typesetting machine allowed information and ideas to flow freely and reach infinitely wider audiences, so e-publishing permits the dissemination of literature and ideas which might otherwise be doomed to oblivion due to lack of the material resources necessary to produce physical books. Needless to say, AirStream Books is interested in quality works: e-books may be quick to produce, but we want our releases to stand the test of time.
The flexibility of e-publishing allows publishers to act immediately when the opportunity arises, without having to worry about printing, distribution, and inventory costs. Thus, we were delighted when music historian Allen Lowe suggested we might be interested in publishing e-book editions of four of his groundbreaking works on American music. Mr. Lowe is well-known for his painstaking research and even more for his outspoken opinions on the history and sociology of jazz, blues, and rock music. His forthcoming AirStream titles are bound to create intense interest and generate heated dialogue among music lovers, musicians, and people who are interested in American culture in general. In the meanwhile you can get a taste of Allen Lowe’s socio-musical opinions in his frequently updated blog.