If I were a gambling man, I'd place my money on e-books becoming the dominant way people consume fiction. Saleswise, they already are in many markets. Give it a couple more years, and e-books will be beamed directly into eyeballs.

 

So does it matter for an author of any genre to put out a print book?

 

Tonight, I was at an event with many prospective readers. Let's call them, "my relatives." They said Kindles are great and everything, but they really wanted a print book. Given they tend to be middle class, educated women in their mid-years (i.e. a large demographic that buys books on a regular basis), I took their comments to heart.

 

It's good to get with the times on the e-book front, but it'd be foolish to abandon traditional readers. The beauty of this Golden Age of Writing is you can have it both ways. It's never been easier to fill readers' preferences in every demographic.

 

I'm not alone in this thinking. New York Times bestselling author Debbi Mack - someone who made it big on e-books - writes more about print books here on her blog.

 

What do you think? Do print books still matter?

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From a reader's perspective, I prefer to be holding a physical book. Interestingly, whilst on holiday recently, as I was laying on my sunbed reading my book and admiring the views, I noticed that almost every other person who was reading, was holding a physical book. That quite surprised me. I also have this odd habit of having to look round to see what everybody else is reading. I feel a sort of weird bond with people who are reading books by my favourite authors. (Am i weird? I feel like I'm sounding weird.)

Not at all weird.  :)  It's validation of your good taste.

I've never been told I have good taste. 

That's reassuring :)

Not weird at all. You're in good company here.

Just because we're ALL weird, doesn't mean Celia isn't.  But she's weird in a good way.

Thanks...I think?

Is this the wrong time to say I actually like the smell of books...?

Interestingly, the eBook version of my new thriller K.A.R.M.A. began to pick up sales as soon as it also became available in trade paperback. Although I have no doubt that eBooks are the future, readers (myself included) still have a real connection with physical books. And for that, I'm glad because ebooks look lousy in the library ;)

I've heard of that effect before, but I'm not sure what causes it. Maybe readers see it in paperback, then head to their e-readers to download the e-book? That's what Barnes & Noble is shifting toward. It operates "showrooms" instead of "bookstores."

Maybe there is still a stereotype against books that are ONLY available via e-book? Perhaps knowing that it's in print is a sign that it's better, in the eyes of some?

I can see the logic there. If someone took the time to offer multiple formats, it must be worth the work.

Well, it's probably the old gatekeeper thing.  My new e-books aren't selling nearly as well as the print books did when they were first released.  It's nonsense, of course, but e-buyers want bargains or print bestsellers.

If you have the print right back, Ingrid - you can publish new print editions at little to no charge on Amazon's CreateSpace.

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