Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter
Coming out of his need to find an outlet for his book, Lloyd Laing teamed up with Jovan Alston to start eBooks Caribbean, an online publisher.
Laing said he was in the process of writing The Evolution of Reggae when the concept was born. He said he was in search of a medium to release his book, but most avenues were either crowded or expensive. The other issue, he said, was the fact that there was no central place for the digitisation and conversion of books.
"The need arose out of my own need to have control of the publishing of my book and still have a hands-on approach," Laing told The Sunday Gleaner.
On the website that was launched in July, several services are offered. There is eBook formatting, conversion and digitising services. In addition, Laing says there is online distribution so that authors and publishers of all sizes get the opportunity to exhibit their work online and retain a higher percentage of their eBook sales than competing online distributors.
Since it was started, some of the books that have made their way on to the website are Coquetry - A Jamaican Romance, Imagery - A Poetry Collection, All Out For Love and 2bR02B.
Some of the books that are scheduled to appear on the website are Jamaica In 1850, Coffee Tree and Macabre Collection of Anansi Stories.
Laing says the website has aided several young authors, many of whom had difficulty getting their work published elsewhere in the past.
"We realise that there was a need and we are glad to fill that need. They (authors) now have a foothold, they have a place, they have an office that they can walk into, somebody that you can talk to about your project," he said.
"The feedback has been good. We have been getting feedback and we have also been getting clients. I am just hoping that a Jamaican publisher will come on board and put these books on paper."
While he wants eBooks Caribbean to be successful, Laing says he still sees the importance of hard copies.
"Books still serve their purpose. We want to put books in the hands of people and provide them with an option. We are not trying to ramble the publishing industry, but we are trying to bring books into the hands of more people," Laing told The Sunday Gleaner.
While the website is a major milestone, Laing is also gearing up to make a presentation at the 50/50 Culture Cluster Panel that will be part of the SALISES 50/50 Conference to take place from August 20 to 24 in Kingston.
At the conference, Laing will discuss findings from his 'Reggae Base', a tool created out of the research for his 'Evolution of Reggae' project.
As part of his presentation, Laing promises to show trends, patterns, data and facts about reggae.
"People can now invest' 'cause they can see numbers," he added.