Hello all,

I'm new here, but have been writing for a while now. I found this site and thought I'd try it out.
You probably have heard a similar blog before, but I thought I'd see what responses I would receive.

What is your take on e-books versus paperbacks/hardbacks these days?
I think I'd much rather have the actual book in my hand, rather than a kindle or the likewise.
I think they are pretty neat, but to me, it just isn't the same as a book in my hand.
Do you think that e-books will be the new trend from now on, as paperbacks go out of style?

Just throwing this out there, and seeing where it lands...


Ed

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We've had this discussion before here, and you'll get all sorts of responses. The fact is we don't know what will happen yet, and guesses aren't really answers. I have readers who do not read electronically ever, and others who will never read in book form again.
It will be simbiotic in nature. Both will exist together. You're not going to see the demise of a 5,000 year old technology like a book soon. If ever. There are too many of us who love a book (and yes, I think there are thousands, if not millions, of young people around the world who love traditional books as well.)
The best place for this kind of discussion is Joe Kontrath's blog: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/. Some of his posts get over 200 comments.

In his post yesterday Joe points out that lots of people say they prefer the actual book in their hands but they don't buy very many new books and I think he's right. I love books, but I probably buy no more than three hardcovers in a year. Maybe a dozen paperbacks.

There are people buying 50-60 e-books a year now. Especially the cheap two or three dollar e-books (and if they're self-published at 70% royalties the author gets the same return as a big publisher, fifteen dollar trade paperback).
I bought a Kindle for my mother last week, and have been playing with it so I can give her a primer when I hand it over. (Her eyesight is failing, and the ability to enlarge the fonts may be a great boon for her.) Now that I've had one in my hand, i see why they're popular. I still like holding and feeling a book, but the opportunities for downloading content unavailable in paper books (notably e-book only content like some of Hammett's early stories, and other books that have gone out of print, as well as books from friends that can be converted to PDF) appeals to me.

I find my opinion shifting in the direction I saw somewhere else today: there are still books I'll want to buy, but I can see a lot of stuff I'd rather have for a few bucks on an e-reader, especially if the actual dollar amount the author collects is about the same or greater.
I hope they make sure they have the author's permission.
I began reading ebooks probably a decade ago, and my paper book collection continues to grow, so I don't see it as an either/or situation. Each had times when it's more convenient than the other.
I'll chime in on this.

I agree with Pepper Smith. As a reader I don't see this as an either/or situation either. Just because I have a Kindle doesn't mean I suddenly despise paper. I continue to like both. But -- and this is a big but -- as a writer you have to see the business side of things. And be cognizant of the Kindle wave coming.

The business of paperbacks has gone way down. The growth of the Kindle has eaten into that market and will continue to do so to the point that there will be less and less paperbacks. And as a writer that means less opportunity. Publishers are less likely to take a chance on your work becasue of the economics of it more than anything.

@John M I personally would never, ever associate myself or my work with the word "cheap." It takes a lot of time and effort to create, research, and write and I value that time. I would use a little more tact and rephrase that sentence and say something like: "My book is a bargain compared to..." or "My book is inexpensive compared to..." I would never say I'm cheap.

As for price. I don't see this as an issue anymore. The Kindle has come down to $139 dollars, so I think anything between $3-$7 is a fair price. I've bought plenty of paperbacks at 6-8 bucks. Lots I liked. Some I didn't like; these like Dan Coleman said have been thrown across the room. But I din't make a deal about it, or gripe about it; okay, I vented at the wall I threw the book at, but only for a few seconds. LOL

Life is too short to sweat a few bucks. if you take a loss, so what -- it happens. Compared to the price of a movie ticket ($11) a paperback in any form is still a bargain. And it's not a big money purchase; like a car or house.

I have a neighbor who was an early Kindle adopter. She paid $399 for the kindle and was buying books at prices between $9 and $13. And she didn't care because she absolutely loves her Kindle and the price became irrelevant to her enjoyment. just my 2 cents. :)
Oh, for sure, I should have said "inexpensive." I didn't mean anything negative by cheap.

My publisher has been trying for months to get Amazon to lower the price of my book from $11.89 to three or four dollars but Amazon hasn't done it yet. I've also suggested that the publisher bundle two of my books together and sell those for $4.99 but there's some issue about isbn numbers or something.
I know you didn't. :)

I was just pointing out that there is this "cheap" mantra being touted far too often as the be all and end all for e-books.

For some writers, it isn't about trying to sell to the masses, but doing good work, or writing a story that's got some NC-17 qualities to it.
Well, that would be me. My publisher sees it diffrently, of course ;)
Yes, there's something heart-warming about those stains on pages and the sticky stuff on audio disks.
Take a look at this. This'll make your eyes pop out.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-b...

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