Thursday, November 26, 2009

eBook or Print?

We South Africans like to think we're up there with the developed world, but when it comes to new technology we're not quite as quick on the uptake as some of them. And who can blame us? After all, where would you go to buy yourself an ebook reader? Do you even know what an ebook reader is ... or an ebook?

As aspiring authors we're all keeping up to date with news regarding new publishers, old ones closing down or merging and any information we can find to answer the question ... do we go epublishing route or do we stick to a traditional print publisher? And what's the difference? Will we sell more or do we limit ourselves? Or, do we find a publisher who will do both? How does the market vary in each?

Decisions, decisions ... and quite frankly not enough information out there yet.

There are some fabulous sites on the net where we can go as romance readers to buy our "fix" outside of the well known Amazon. Some of them give us the option of buying either one format or the other or oftentimes both. Price difference is perhaps another factor to consider as the ebooks are definitely cheaper. However they are still too expensive! The cost of paper, printing and distribution is astronomical and the fact that an ebook does away with all that should reflect better in the pricing models. And let's not get started about the fact that you can't "lend" your book to a friend with an ebook because of the copyright!

Which leads us very nicely into the next question. Which device should you buy to read your ebooks? Most publishers offer document types such as PDF, Adobe Digital Editions, Sony Readers, Kindle Readers, Microsoft readers ... Which one do you choose?

Well as far as Exclusive Books is concerned you shouldn't choose any of them ... yet! As an Apple fan myself I have to wonder whether they're waiting for the release of the Tablet which will possibly integrate with the iPhone! Sounds like digital heaven for the multi-taskers among us! I can just see all those hours stuck in traffic becoming less of a problem ...

So, in South Africa I guess it's not always such a good idea to be an innovator! Rather adapt a wait and see attitude before we rush into any decisions when it comes to the ereader.

However, when it comes to publishing ... go for it! eBooks are here to stay one way or the other. The rest of the world is forging ahead with the new technology so don't get left behind as an author. And maybe, just maybe, eBooks will be what gets our children reading again! Surely that thought alone is well worth it?

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