Sunday, 16 February 2014

Print books and ebooks

The first Geraldine Steel murder mystery, Cut Short, came out in print in the UK in 2009. A fellow author suggested my publisher bring it out as a digital book. It seems strange to recall that five years ago I wasn't really sure what that meant. Nevertheless I sent a polite request to my publisher to bring my debut out as an ebook. No one thought it was important, but six months later the digital version duly came out. 'Of course your books don't sell on kindle,' someone in the know told me. As for me, I still had only a vague notion what a kindle was.

Exactly the same happened with Road Closed in 2010.

But reading habits were changing. When Dead End came out in 2011, the digital and print books were published on the same day.

By the time Death Bed appeared in print in 2012, the digital book had already  been available for six months.

This pattern has been repeated in 2013 and 2014 with digital versions of Stop Dead, Fatal Act and Cold Sacrifice available for download six months in advance of  print books.

Nowadays, no one says my titles 'don't sell on kindle'. Not only have the print books reached bestseller lists in the UK bookstore chains and on amazon, but the ebooks have reached Number 1 on both kindle and iTunes.

What has been your experience of ebooks, as a reader or an author? Do you own a kindle or a tablet? And where do you see the future of print books, and with them physical bookstores and libraries?

Links to all my books can be found on my website http://leighrussell.co.uk

8 comments:

Guillaume said...

I am still old fashioned, I haven't read a book on e form yet.

Leigh Russell said...

I don't have a kindle but I do have the kindle app on my ipad. It's so convenient to be able to download books... I'm converted yet... but...

Gordon Brice said...

I haven't been converted and don't own a Kindle, but I do appreciate that some people find the benefits of ebooks.....well, beneficial.
I do enjoy the feel and smell of a real book. It also seems more personal.
Concerning bookstores and libraries, I feel that there will still be a demand for both, but, as we have already seen, the number will be greatly reduced as more people switch to downloading ebooks, or ordering via Amazon. There will always be a demand for print books. Not everyone is technologically minded and a preference for real books will prevail.

Leigh Russell said...

I hope you're right, Gordon! The problem is, if too few people buy print books, the publishers will go out of business... so keep buying books!

Anonymous said...

I think the demise of written books is over-stated. I like to read them on the toilet, only because taking my PC in is rather difficult and it's hard to balance on my knees.

I love reading - Vicki said...

I love my kindle, i find it great for carrying around with me, i have 600 books in my pocket wherever i go, i also find i have read a lot more, where i wouldn't pick up an actual book to read a page or so, i do with my kindle, might read a couple of pages while waiting at the school gates etc..
I read a tree book last month and it seemed to take me ages to read it, but i still enjoy the feel of an actual book.
With my kindle i've not got my hubby saying are you going to turn the light off soon lol....
I also find its great if i see a book i fancy reading i can have it in seconds....

Funny thing is, i never wanted a kindle, it was bought me as a gift, but i wouldnt be without it now, i have one for my bag and one for at home.

Leigh Russell said...

I'm not sure if the anonymous comment was intended to be amusing, but it made me smile. I know exactly what you mean! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Leigh Russell said...

Hi Vicki, a lot of people say they read far more on their kindles than they ever did with print books. It's certainly convenient to have access to so many books and anything that promotes reading has to be good. My concern is, as I've said before, that if too many people abandon print books for ebooks, no one will be able to afford to produce the physical books and they'll disappear. Thank you for sharing your views here.