Rosanne Dingli

Rosanne Dingli

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Read an eBook week? Read an eBook YEAR!

lBook V3 e-book                                                          Image via WikipediaEveryone is reading more eBooks. It's a fact. Statistics keep surfacing about eBook sales. Better believe them. It's 2011, and it's happening now.

 "...people are not only changing their reading habits – they're reading MORE than ever. That's good news." Neil Marr, BeWrite Books

BeWrite Books always knew this revolution would come: since forever, they have simultaneously released paperbacks and eBooks for all titles, and the world has gradually caught up with this forward-thinking strategy. What's more, their eBooks are available for all formats, and are DRM free. That means you can switch them from one reader to      another, including your phone, depending on where, what and how you want to read. Handy.

So this week, give it a whirl. Try an eBook, because it's eBook week. Try one of mine. Try one of any author's - it's quite an experience to be able to read at any angle, change your font size, change backgound colour, and look up unusual words without getting up from your favourite armchair ... or deck chair ... or bed.

One of the best things about eBooks is that they're green. No trees are sacrificed. Rather less energy goes into their making than any paper book. True, they are different, but never fear, paper books won't disappear that quickly. The zip did not kill the button, and the ballpoint pen did not kill the pencil. The tin can did not kill the glass jar. We have discovered, as inventive humans, that devices can live side-by-side.

Do it this week. Everyone's doing it (I know, because my eBook sales are going up).

Then answer this question: how do you think eBook reading will affect what, when and how often you read?  

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  1. I'm excited about the doors it opens to novellas and short stories. There's some really fine writing that never makes it into book form because of its length.

  2. Changes in reading habits, Rosanne? Well, I certainly do much more recreational reading since, years ago, I got my ebook reading device (the huge majority of ebook folks report a similar trend) because of its sheer comfort and convenience.

    But in the main way -- WHAT I read -- there has been no change. The ebook is a faithful reproduction of its print equivalent. I firmly believe that a book is its content and not its form of presentation.

    Best wishes -- and the greatest of luck with your upcoming new release 'According to Luke'. Neil

  3. Rosanne, As one writer to another, I still love the "experience" of reading a real book but when traveling, you can't beat being able to carry 100 books without any weight. But ..... then it needs recharging. They are convenient and cheaper but not quite the same experience. But maybe that's my age speaking. Shirley

  4. Ian sent me this post by email:

    “Everyone is reading them.....Surely not?

    I’m not and I’m not in any hurry to start. This is for a number of reasons, the first being that I’m still struggling with conversion from my trusty quill to a laptop, which is far too complicated and my penknife won’t sharpen it when it goes wrong. In this age of ever faster changes in technology I wonder if anyone is ever going to settle on an industry standard? There seem to be nine different formats for e-books and not all of them can be used on all readers. Worse than that, Amazon are trying to bully everyone into using their Kindle and won’t sell books from their stable in any other format. So if you haven’t bought their proprietary device, you’re stuffed. Well I don’t like being told what to do by monopolies, so Amazon and Tesco are off my list of approved suppliers, I like my local bookshop.

    I know printed books will be around for a long time yet and it is interesting to note that whilst e-sales have gone up by over 19% in the last year, printed sales have not languished. I like the feel of a printed book, I like turning the pages, not wiping my finger across a screen and leaving greasy marks. I like the smell of printers’ ink and the whole tactile experience of holding and reading a proper book. I know some print can be hard to read, but e-screens are just as bad, if not worse, and you are stumped when the battery runs out.

    If I drop my paperback in the bath, I can shake the water off and carry on reading. It will dry out later and, apart from becoming a little wrinkled and not so smooth, it will be none the worse. An e-reader dropped in the bath will just go “Futt!” and need to be replaced, at great expense.

    My last gripe is that currently e-books are selling cheaper than printed versions, probably in an effort to encourage people to buy them, and the author gets a mere pittance. I know royalties on printed books are often pretty low, but when they are cut by 70 or 85%, because it’s suddenly electronic, how is an author to make a living? Don’t just say ‘sell more books’, because sales would need to increase by several thousand percent to make up the difference and that just isn’t going to happen, even for the mega sellers..

    My publisher tells me he intends to issue the four books of my African Memoir series as e-books later this year, once they are all published, but for the time being this is one revolution I am content to sit and watch from a distance, a bit like what’s going on in Libya. I don’t want to have to learn how to use another gizmo that will be out of date and replaced before I have mastered it.!

    End of rant!

    Ian Mathie