About Me

My photo
Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Electronic Playscripts

I just bought Infectious Opportunity, by James Comtois for my Kindle. Martin Denton has also entered the eBook market, putting one of his many anthologies in the format.

Right now, as far as I know, neither of the publishers that carry my work offer eBooks. Curious what you all think of the prospect. It seems like it would be extremely useful for play publishers, but it's also a very new market, and perhaps there are challenges to the licensing model that works with this format.

Would you buy a play for the Kindle? Are you just basically opposed to the format? Do you see reasons why this isn't going to work for the stage? Or do you think it's just inevitable that digital publishing comes to Drama?

10 comments:

Dan Freeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Freeman said...

One thing I've been reading about, is that the electronic carriers seem to be generally better about paying authors than the traditional publishing folks. Can anyone verify that?

Jihad Punk XXX said...

I'm not opposed to it. if I had a Kindle, yes I would purchase all the plays available - classic, modern, contemporary and little known.

Ian Thal said...

Not having a Kindle, does the licensing allow for printing and copying (which would be a necessity for a production where not all of the cast and production staff can be expected to have Kindles as well.) What sort of license agreement would come with an electronic playscript? I presume that it can't be the same license that comes with other ebooks.

Seano said...

As an actor I think that I make too many notes on a script while in the rehearsal process. I would need that physical ability. But strictly for reading purposes it definitely is an attractive prospect, having one's entire collection in one device.

brian said...

Hey Matt, I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but there's a service called OffBookMarket.com that allows you to upload PDF versions of your scripts and sell them for cash. The prices range from $3-$5, depending on size, and the playwright gets over 90% of the proceeds.

It's absolutely free and worth looking into. My only caveat is that I'm not sure about your legal obligations to your publishers. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm the developer/creator of Off Book Market.

I can tell you that I'm not making a dime from this. The 8ish percent that you don't get goes to cover PayPal (the payment system) costs. I literally just calculate how much Paypal took, and subtract it from the cost of the play, and you get the rest.

I'm looking into adding .LIT and .EPUB formats for Kindles and other readers, but that's a ways off.

Thought I'd let you know about that. Good luck!

technogroove said...

I would purchase all the plays available - classic, modern, contemporary and little known if I had a kindle.

Sonora said...

I would like to read a script a week on my Kindle...sheer pleasure! I'd then order a hard copy for performance purposes and writing notes in, as needed.
The more access the better. Speaking in terms of intellectual property, I would not expect to be able to print/reproduce & redistribute anything I bought on a Kindle.

Jason said...

Thanks for supporting the eBooks from Original Works Publishing, Matthew. Isn't INFECTIOUS OPPORTUNITY a great play? Love James Comtois.

We're very proud to be the first play publisher to launch our catalog as eBooks. Nothing works as well to get the word out on this as people like you blogging and talking about it.

We now have over 50 of our top titles available for Kindle and iPad, with more coming every day. Visit the OWP website and check them out - http://www.originalworksonline.com

If you aren't already with us on Facebook, please do join us - http://www.facebook.com/OriginalWorksPublishing

Hope you all don't mind the shameless plug.

joshcon80 said...

I love reading on my ipad. Love it, love it, love it. Don't get me wrong- I love holding a book- but there's something to be said for having your library at your fingertips. plus, you know, being green.

Also, with my book deal I know I get a bigger cut from ebooks so there's that.