Friday, April 23, 2010

Ebooks - wadda ya think?

Last week I mentioned the Book of my Heart on this blog, VIVA LAS VEGAS. It’s the one that got away, the book I really loved writing, really has a lot of myself in it, and is closest to my heart. It’s also, unfortunately, still unpublished. For one reason or another it’s had bad luck, bad timing, and just doesn’t fall into a very marketable niche with publishers. Which, honestly, I totally understand. Hey, if they don’t think they can sell it well, I certainly don’t want them pouring a bunch of money into it. But, even so, I still love this book.

Which has got me thinking about non-traditional publishing.

A good friend of mine, Kristen Painter, decided this week to put one of her unpublished books, Heart of Fire, up for sale herself as an ebook. She put together a fabulous cover and uploaded the whole thing to Smashwords. She’s done it as half experiment, just to see how well ebooks are really selling and if that really is where the new market is at. (Kristen is also contracted with traditional NY publishers with other books, but this particular one, like VIVA LAS VEGAS, just hadn’t found a home.)

Coincidentally, I talked with another good friend of mine, J.R. Rain, this week, who is also into the ebook self-publishing. He has several titles available on Amazon in the Kindle format, and is incredibly pleased with his sales, especially since he’s not traditionally published, and this is his first go at building a readership.

So, here’s my question: are readers really using ebook devises? Do they love them? What are they willing to pay in terms of ebooks?

To that end, I’m doing an informal poll here today. Please vote and please feel free to pass this along to anyone else you can think of who might vote. (The more answers I get the better!) And if you have any thoughts about ebooks – good or bad, as a writer or reader – please comment!

Survey Results -

Get This - Survey Results -

~Trigger Happy Halliday


Zita said...

I love my Sony Reader and I love ebooks. I still buy print copies, but now I only buy the ones I want to add to my permanent library. Ebooks allow me to read authors I never got a chance to before, because I would have to budget my purchases and my favourites would always win out, of course. Now I can indulge myself, especially since I volunteer my services as an ebook reviewer, so I get to read all kinds and sorts of books for free and early. I'm in heaven! Ebooks are also cheaper, so I can buy more with my monthly budget dollars than ever before. It's a great time to be a reader! I must say, however, that if I didn't have a reader, I wouldn't purchase ebooks. I like to lounge on my couch to read, and you can't do that if you don't own a laptop and have to read off your desktop!

Gemma Halliday said...

I like to lounge on my couch to read, and you can't do that if you don't own a laptop and have to read off your desktop!

Totally agreed! I haven't yet bought a reader and this reason alone has kept me form buying mass amounts of ebooks. I love the immediacy of being able to download them right when I want to read them, but reading on my computer screen is no fun.


Tori Lennox said...

I used to think they were a horrible idea. But that was back when there wasn't much choice in ereaders. Now I'd love a Kindle or Nook if I could afford one. For one thing I'm running out of shelf space. *g*

Bookmobiler said...

I like holding books while I read. But if a books only available to me as an ebook I have no problem with them.
Since my eyesight hasn't gotten any better as I've grown older the ebooks ability to increase font size is often appreciated.
The small size of my ebook reader (I use a Palm TX) means I can carry loads of books in my pocket.

Gwen Hayes said...

I read mostly on my Droid phone. I have an old ebookwise, but it's impossible to find books for it anymore. I am looking seriously at a Nook or a Kindle--waiting for either to come out with a Droid app so I can alternate.

I almost never read paper books anymore.

and I couldn't vote in the poll for some reason--browser issue?

Kristen Painter said...

Thanks for the shout out! I couldn't get the poll to work, but I use a Sony reader and I really like it. I'm thinking about getting my mom a Kindle for Mother's Day, tho.

Dru said...

The poll is not working, but I have a Nook and I've read a couple of books on it, but I still prefer to read a book that I can hold and turn the page in my hand.

Gwen Hayes said...

Dru-I'm looking to buy a Nook. If you don't like it and it's in good condition and you want to sell it...let me know!

Suzanna said...

I've been reading ebooks on my Palm TX and my netbook. Until now the (ridiculously high) prices of dedicated ebook readers have kept me from purchasing one. That's just changed, though! I'm so excited that Kobo Books has a new eReader coming out in May (here in Canada - later in the summer at Borders in the U.S.) for only $149! I have preordered one and am anxiously awaiting its arrival!

Suzan Harden said...

I bought a teeny, tiny Inspiron 710 four years ago to be able to read e-books or work or write while on the road for my job. Now that the e-readers are hitting the market, I can't justify spending the extra money for one of them right now.

Patti Roberts said...

i think that ebooks and self publishing is the future for a lot of writers and readers. i prefer to buy the print copies, but having said that i have never used an electronic reader. But I love gadgets so it is only a matter of time until i do. Not sure which way to go Kindle or Nook? Any suggestions?

Minna said...

I still prefer ink and paper books. My eyes get tired if I stare at the computer screen for too long and I've noticed that for some reason it takes a longer time to read an ebook than ink and paper version. The one good thing I can say about ebooks is that they don't take a lot space. And yeah, it's hard to read an ebook from computer screen when you're lying in bed.

Stephanie said...

I love ebooks! I rarely buy print books anymore because the few times I do I just never seem to get around to them.

I read a variety of formats (Kindle, Nook, ereader, etc) on my iPod Touch and BlackBerry Storm. My favorite right now is the Kindle.

The only frustration is when I book I want to read is not available as an ebook anywhere. It's sad to say I often won't buy it in print. I'll buy an ebook for the same price as print. Although, discounts on ebooks means I will buy more.

I can't bring myself to buy an ereader that would limit me to one format of ebook. I like that I can read a variety of formats.

Kristi said...

I have a Kindle. I love it. I still buy paper books and use the library, but love that I can carry so many books with me at a time.

We go to camp every weekend and now I just bring my Kindle instead of a stack of books. I also read faster and easier on it because I can adjust the font.

I usually pay $6.39 for an ebook that is out in paperback format. With all the publisher fallout right now it's making it tough to get some books.

I don't think I'd pay over $9.99 for a new release. I can't share it, trade it or give it away so I refuse to pay $15-20 for one.