Part II of: E-Books or Print, My Own Thoughts and Feelings...
When I last posted I had shared how Helen and I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas back in 2015 and that I had started learning more about how to use it and to download books. Again, many of you thought, "That's it we've lost him. Good-bye paper, hello electronic..." But that did not come to pass. It took me a little while to get used to the page turning abilities and how many paragraphs there are on an e-page (usually less than in a typical printed book from what I can tell). The simple swiping of the pages on the Kindle really threw me for a long while, because I'd accidentally go to far and would then have to slowly swipe back to get to where I needed to be. Then recently I learned there was a simple App already on the Kindle that when used would simulate the turning of a SINGLE page and even had the sound effect of a paper page turning which solved that problem for me.
Yet, I still enjoyed pulling out my paperbacks and hardback copies of books. As a writer, its much more satisfying to smell a book, and feel the cover in your hands, as well as actually be able to put your signature inside a physical book. But as the days have drawn on and Helen and I have had to start packing in anticipation of moving to a new place, I really took notice of how many books we had.
Every bibliophile reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about. You find sometimes you have more (heavy) boxes of books than you do most other things as you pack. Plus you find yourself wondering, "Am I really going to re-read or need ALL of these?" This question came up several times... okay I lie, it came up a LOT of times in the last few weeks. Part of the solution for us was to sell some of our less desired collection to book stores for "Store Credit". Yes, the collection will expand once more in the near future MWAHAHAHAH! But in the meantime it meant less boxes for us to take with us. Yet, we still found we had more than we actually had room for. The solution to our problem came in the form of our recently acquired Kindle. Many of the larger books in our collection were anthologies which were rather heavy in some cases. Now, in case you haven't heard, both Helen and I suffer from Fibromyalgia which means we're in pain and our muscles do not always act the way we wish them to. On some days, holding one of those heavier volumes could be more of a discomfort than a pleasure as we tried to forget our physical pain. So we replaced most of those books with e-book versions, allowing us to keep the stories we loved but manage them more comfortably.
I believe most of you can already see where this is going.
Also, during the recent holiday season I had heard that famous song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams on the radio which brought a new thought to mind. There is the passage, "There'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmasses long, long ago..." which had always struck a chord with me. Why ghost stories at Christmas? I already knew from my mother who had been born and raised in England that this was a tradition back there, that stretched long before Dicken's "A Christmas Carol". So I began researching and found that this was indeed true and even learned there were collections of Christmas Ghost Stories out there. Many of them were out of print, BUT could be obtained for the Kindle. So I wound up getting several collections really cheap on Amazon (free or for just .99 cents) and have been enjoying tales from famous writers such as Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James, Ambrose Pierce, and many many others (who I'll be covering in future entries).
However in the case of Mr. Blackwood, I got a collection of ALL his works in one volume. Now let me tell you this is a BIG collection, which would've translated into either a book with very tiny print or a really large and heavy book which may have wreaked havoc on my Fibromyalgia. So getting it in e-book form was just right for me.
Yet when I take a bath or am relaxing on break at work, I love to pull out a lightweight hardcover or paperback and enjoy myself. Having a Kindle has not ended my love of reading, but merely allowed me to have another avenue to enjoy books with less strain.
So as you can see, I have learned to use my Kindle as a tool. It permits me to deal with my physical limitations, while also allowing me to see how the latest book I'm putting out appears to e-reader fans. I get to see firsthand how the layout is looking for myself and make whatever adjustments are needed before releasing the story for others to enjoy. In fact, I order physical proof copies, as well as electronic ones, because I want to make sure my readers are getting a good product that they can be proud to own and feel like they got their money's worth.
As you can see, for me there is no Print vs E-book struggle. It all depends on how you choose to build and maintain your collection. And as for the writers reading this article, all of this is good information to think about when publishing. It's not how many you sell in one form or another, its how many people's hands you can get your books into. So my advice is do BOTH print and e-books. After all, you can't really sign an e-copy and if you get a big enough audience, they WILL want a copy you signed to hold in their hands.
That's all for now. So until next time my friends, take care and keep writing.