Saturday, November 20, 2010

The ebook smackdown

Now that I've owned my Kindle for almost a year, I thought it might be interesting to tally up the war between paper vs. ebooks. I've mentioned my love of paper books before, and I'll admit I came to the ereader world with much reluctance and consternation (it was a gift.)

The takeaway? As much as I love to hold a book in my hand, I clearly buy more books on my Kindle. It's just too easy. I'll finish a book in bed and still be wide awake, so zipzapzoop, I'll buy and start another one. I carry my Kindle in my (ridiculously giant) purse, so I'm reading more on average. I finished a book last night waiting to pick up my daughter from fencing. The lesson ran long, so I bought another novel.

In the last 11 months, I bought 26 ebooks and 15 (more or less, I don't keep the best records) real and true physical books, mostly from indie bookstores. I wouldn't have predicted those results last December.

So, what do you think? If other people are anything like me, is this bad or good news for authors?

8 comments:

ralfast said...

But as a writer, how do you think that translates to market share and target audiences?

Are ebooks right for your stories?

June Kramin said...

I am breaking down & getting a Nook for Christmas. It was mainly to get my friend's books that won't be made into print - now I am looking at cost. A lulu book that is $16.00 +shipping is $1.25 download. There's a no-brainer. I finally saw a Kindle & it wasn't what I expected. I think I'll be OK with the transition.

Jaleh D said...

You've still paid for those books. I don't see how that harms authors. More authors got money than they might have. Part of what limits me right now is physical space for books. If I could buy some as ebooks, then I could have a bigger collection, leaving more of my space for the books I love, and not just like.

west side lurker said...

My issue with ebooks is that, unless you can hack them and store the books somewhere else as well, there is no assurance that you actually own the books. B&N can take and has taken books back. That said, though, I think I'd like to get one for all the trashy novels I like to read and am too embarrassed to buy or check out of the library. But I'll keep buying paper copies of books I want to actually own.

Also, authors are paid for ebook sales (albeit less than they are paid for hardcover sales; I'm not sure how ebook royalties rack up against paperbacks).

colbymarshall said...

I think for me, it boils down to that I do much of my reading in the bathtub, and for safety reasons, both for me and the kindle, I think I'll stick with paper books ;-)

Autism Mom said...

@Colbymarshall- I'm glad I'm not the only one to read books in the tub. I do try to be careful and not get water damage, but if I were to drop a book, it will fare much better than an ebook reader.

With that said, I am not opposed to buying a reader. Right now I just don't have the extra money.

As a writer, I think they can be a useful source of additional revenue. Especially with the economy tight, people might spend money on an ebook, whereas they might not be willing to shell out money for a new hardback (or overpriced self-published book; ebooks are a good way for self-publishing authors to offer a competitive price).

Medeia Sharif said...

I've doubled my reading with ebooks, which means my spending on books has increased. Ereading is great for authors since we're reading more.

the dressmaker said...

not for me-- I love the smell of paper books, and cant imagine curling up in bed with a kindle (Now, maybe if they made them SOFT and cuddly and smelling like lavender...just a thought)--plus I like reading slowly...
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