I just had a very frustrating moment and I want to share it with all of you out there. I have no idea where this post will go, but I am venting at this point. Let’s start with authors.
Why on earth do you all insist on breaking books down into these little itty bitty teeny tiny classifications? When you write a long story and get it published it is a BOOK! Right? Makes sense.
Why on earth do you refuse to accept that it doesn’t matter what format it is published in?
So some New York Times Best Selling author says eBook aren’t really books. Well, tell it to their publishers who I GUARANTEE are selling their books as eBooks now. Why? Because it is a BOOK! If that author doesn’t acknowledge their eBook as a “real” book then they damn sure better be refusing to take those NOT “real” royalties. But I’ll bet they are. There are so many people in this industry who keep insisting on putting everything into neat littel boxes. Well the world has to many damn boxes. Get out, see the world, live a little.
Who reads paperback books? READERS.
Who reads hardback books? READERS.
Who reads eBooks? READERS.
Who listens to/reads audio books? READERS!
Are you seeing a pattern here? Come on people, this isn’t about what is right or wrong, or good or bad. It is about choices. It’s about BOOKS!
Who decides what you read and in what format? You do. Exactly. Isn’t it fabulous that you have choices? Sitting in the tub and want a paperback? You got it. That’s a choice. Laying by the pool and more comfortable with a hardback? Woohoo! You’ve got a choice! Traveling to Europe for three weeks and your suitcases are already over the weight limit and you haven’t packed any of the ten books you planned on taking? By golly, you boot up that Nook and download to your heart’s content for under a pound (12.1 ounces). Whhoooweee and hot damn. CHOICES!
Is someone pressuring you to pick one format over another? You give me a name and I’ll take care of them for you. I know people…oh wait, scratch that last part. You are the READER and this is all about you. You stand up and make your choice and if you want to pick a different format tomorrow, then I say EMBRACE YOUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE.
What is my least favorite question to hear from an author? *Okay, this is a note to my authors who recently asked this, I adore you, but pay attention.
I know how to promote a print book, but how do I promote an eBook?
Anyone know the answer? Anyone? You, in the blue sweater? No? Come on people, work with me. Okay, the answer is…wait for it…
The same way you would promote every other format of the book. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. You have all the tools you need right at your fingertips. You market and promote your BOOK as a BOOK. It’s pretty simple really.
I am pretty sure that readers want the simple facts. They don’t want to be beaten over the head with your book, they just want to know what it is about and where they can get it. That is when they get to CHOOSE. Will every reader want to read your book? Heck no. So what. Do you want to read every book out there? Of course not, you silly goose!
Just give them the facts and let them know that you and your BOOK is there for them.
The publishing industry is a multi-faceted empire that offers such diversity and wonder. It shouldn’t be traumatic or stressful for anyone, not reader, not authors. BOOKS have two basic functions. Either to entertain or to educate. So let’s not make it so difficult. Let’s just READ!
I take your point ;=)
On the other hand–isn’t there always?–It seem to me that everyone needs to understand that we are in a turbulent time of major change and people (not just authors and publishers) are worried and confused. Humans love labels. Look at the amazing number of classifications that are found under CRIME FICTION!
So—trades, PBOs, ebooks, hard covers, kindles, nooks (no crannies?) mobies, etc. etc.
I think a little patience is in order all around and oh yes, if I did everything suggested in the way of promotion and selling, I’d never write another story, ’cause there wouldn’t be enough time!
Interesting, yes? no more product, no more sales.
Couldn’t agree more- a book is a book regardless its format! And readers are welcome to pick their choice and it is a blessing to have many choices…
“let’s not make it so difficult. Let’s just READ!”
OHMYGOD YES! A book is a book. I agree! If it’s a long story (or even a short story or a series of short stories), you can write and sell it, and they can read it, which makes it a book. Technology changes everything! Why shouldn’t the publishing industry try to keep up!?
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AMEN!!! AMEN AND HALLELUJIAH!
The uproar over e-books reminds me of when CD’s replaced vinyl records (yes, I’m so old I can remember) and music lovers thought it was a catastrophe (I worked in a record store back then and I remember it well). Well, progression has brought us MP3 players so even CD’s could be considered outdated. The times keep moving….move with them. I can’t wait for my new Kindle to arrive and download my first book (which will be my own!!! Sorry, can’t help it). E-readers are the future and so like holding a real book if you have to have that feel in your hands. My motto: Keep up with the times or risk being left behind….big time!!! Oh, and everyone who reads this and realizes they want an e-reader – don’t forget to download MY book, Madness and Murder 😉
Have to agree. It is about choices. Some people want paper books – great. I love the nice traditional book. That doesn’t mean the ebooks aren’t books. They are just a new way of accessing the writing.
Thanks so much for sharing this post.
Absolutely on the mark. All this talk about formats just muddies the water; is it a good story, or not? Stories, people, are meant to be READ. Yes, the business end of publishing is changing, and that’s to YOUR benefit, Reader! The choices have exploded. As Karen points out, it’s entirely up to you how you choose to read a book now. Not locked in to just this or just that. As an author, I make sure that my books are available in just about any (ahem) FORMAT you want, to give my readers that choice.
And what’s my choice? Personally, I read almost everything on my nook. I’ll read paper if necessary, because I like to read and if the story I want to read isn’t available in a digital media, I’ll still opt for a traditional copy.
I hope that as time passes, people will stop obsessing about the method of delivery and return to talking about the quality of the writing!
You are absolutely right. I think the biggest problem in the industry is the “that’s the way it’s always been done and if you choose something else, you’re not good enough” attitude. It seems like every other problem that comes up stems directly from that unwillingness to accept change. It’s sad. Eventually, people will come around even if they have to be dragged kicking and screaming. Probably by then they’ll completely forget they ever resisted. Aren’t human beings fun?
This is refreshingly frank (the post). Thank you.
I couldn’t agree more T L Cooper. I was actually talking about this with a friend yesterday. We agreed that it was the same for the film, music and publishing industry. The sad thing is, in my opinion, if they (the big wigs in the film, music and publishing industries) had accepted change a lot earlier they could have done something wonderful…instead of having to catch up with people who were one step ahead of them…like Apple. I think it comes down to a fear of losing power.
Well… Ummm… As a reader I like choices. As the wife of an author … I would not mind the money from any format… as a reviewer well I want it all.