Annette's blog

Rethinking my relationship with e-readers

I remember when Barnes & Noble first started hawking their e-reader, the Nook. They removed all the books from the front 10 feet of the store and installed a huge white desk with a handful of the devices and a salesperson. I’ll be honest: I’m not always the first to embrace change. So, I figured as I long as I kept my head down and didn’t make eye contact, I’d be safe and the salesperson would leave me alone. It worked.

My own daughters weren’t so reluctant to embrace change. My oldest showed up with her i-pad one weekend visit and told me how she loved to read books on it. My younger daughter was given a Kindle by her boyfriend’s mother. Both love this technology.

But I’m cautious, leery of anything that might somehow change my relationship with the printed word. When I started in earnest to work on my novel, Bone Girl, I needed information about the sport of equestrian endurance riding. The book, Endurance 101, by Aarene Storms was exactly what I needed. The trouble was getting it. I went to both the city and the public library in my community, but was told they couldn’t help me. I still don’t understand this.

So, I visited the Amazon site and saw Endurance 101 there. For only $9.95, I could move forward with my novel. But I don’t own an e-reader. No problem, the Amazon website assured me. I could download it to my home computer. What? Sure enough, five minutes later, the little blue Kindle signal appeared on my laptop screen. I had done it! I had stepped past the muscle-bound man at the velvet rope and into the e-book world. Cool! Later that day, I downloaded the Kindle app to my smart phone. That evening, my husband downloaded the Kindle app to his laptop. It was contagious, but hopefully not like a disease.

When I sold my novel, Celebration House, to Tirgearr Publishing, I learned how important a working knowledge of e-books is. Because for the first six months at least, my novel will only be available in e-book format. My publisher, Kemberlee, tells me that for each print version of my book, Tirgearr sells five (5!) e-books.

Another of Tirgearr’s books, No Gentleman is He, by Carley Bauer and Lynette Willows is doing great. It’s gotten good reviews, and it’s tied for first place for Hot Summer Reads on GoodReads. I wanted to read it, so I asked my publisher where I should buy it so that the authors receive the most reimbursement. She said as an author with Tirgearr, she would send the book to me at no cost. Thank you. Sure enough, she sent it to me via email, and I downloaded it to the Kindle app on my laptop within a few minutes. Easy.

I plan to buy an e-book reader this month. To that end, I searched for information on which is the right e-reader for me. Here’s the best website I found: http://chamberfour.com/ereader-comparison. Check it out!

Hands and arms inside the cart. Next: how e-readers are changing the business of publishing.

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