Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Is the Public Expecting Ebook Versions Now?

Uh oh. Someone published a book, posted it on Amazon, and it wasn't available for the Kindle. Author Michael Lewis wrote a bestseller entitled The Big Short. Reviews glowed. However, regular readers now want a quick fix. If they read a review and get hungry for the book, those enabled with electronic readers now want instant gratification - a 30-second download - so they can jump into the first chapter.

But what happens when the book isn't available in ebook format? Apparently people get angry. And they vow not to read the author again, or never buy the book, or worse, find another book like it and read it instead.

I sort of understand. I own a Kindle DX. During a recent trip, I found myself always grabbing it to read a page or two between other obligations. Y'all . . . it's addictive. And the ability to receive your book in seconds also spoils you. I'm reading books now I would have waited a few months to read, all because I reacted on impulse to download it. So far I haven't regretted it, but I have made a conscious effort to control my urges. My son has a friend who bought an iPod and went nuts with iTunes because Apple had the credit card on file, making it easy to just pick and click. Same deal with Amazon. Funny how I can make myself wait until a movie is on cable, but I want to read a book now.

But if this teaches us anything, it's this: if you publish, include ebook availability. Advertise the fact. Embrace electronic reading. I published ebooks ten years ago when they were laughed at. I've seen the ebb and flow of the concept. Believe me . . . this time they are here to stay.


Inspire All said...

Thank you for the FYI. I am hoping to publish my poetry book this summer and this is a great thing to know. Also, I am co-authoring a book this summer as well, if it is not offered in ebook form, how can I as a co-author get it in that format for my readers and advertise it as such. Any suggestions that you have is greatly appreciated!

K9friend said...

I haven't answered the call of the Kindle yet. Like the feel of a real book in my hands and on my shelves too much, I guess.

However, things continue to evolve, and your point is right on.

Glinda Harrison said...

Lovely post, Hope! I am an early adopter of the Kindle. I also have vision problems, so it is really almost the only way I read anymore.

Some publishers seem to think that readers who want e-books are only out for cheap books. But I think you are correct about the impusle buy factor; I find myself buying more book than ever, especially if they are reasonably priced.

I have emailed and politely asked if they could let their publisher know that there are fans waiting to read the book on the Kindle. The response has been gracious everytime, and most of them have been made available in an e-book format.

Thanks for the great article!