My non-fiction history of Angkor civilization for tourists, The Story of Angkor, is now available as an e-book for Kindle and iBooks. The publisher, Thailand-based Silkworm Books, has finally embraced the digital world.
The company’s founder, Trasvin Jittidecharak, explained in a recent letter to her authors that this was not as straightforward as it sounds. Silkworm is late to the digital party but so are other many publishers who specialize in Asian literature and affairs. From the mundane task of converting files to the bigger issue of untangling legacy business relationships, the shift to e-books is neither cheap nor simple
But the trend is clear. The sale of tablets, Kindles and other e-readers has skyrocketed past the sale of print books. I use both, and have found the usual determinant is simply what’s available, when.
The Story of Angkor is perfect for e-books. I deliberately wrote it short, because I wanted something portable and easy to read. Although none of my research was original, most of what’s available on Angkor is academic and pretty unreadable. My book is meant to fill that gap.
The Story of Angkor puts the rise and fall of this civilization, which once bestrode Southeast Asia, in a global context. It covers trade, religion, politics, art and architecture, and ecological issues, offering a bird’s eye perspective – but in just a bit over 100 pages. People touring the amazing monuments in Cambodia or who are interested in the country’s history will now be able to download the book – which is otherwise available only in select airport shops. (It’s also available for sale at the Asia Society in Hong Kong.)