Thursday, January 26, 2012

Save a Tree, Buy an E-Book

I must admit that technology is not exactly my best friend. I'm the kind of person that could literally spend hours in a library or book store. I love the smell of an old library, like the ones you find in small towns across the country. Not the newer brick buildings, but libraries that are located in old historic large homes that were built a century ago or longer. I love the sound of turning pages as readers thumb through books from the shelves of brick and morter book stores (or at least those that have not gone out of business). But something incredible is happening, albeit it slowly, among avid readers today. E-readers are slowly taking hold and leaving dinosaurs like me behind.

I recently self-published a book of short stories specifically for this growing segment of readers. I will admit that the reason for doing so was because there is no cost to so. I was growing tired of purchasing ISBN numbers from companies that supposedly assist with self-publishing only to sell enough books online to break even from the cost. However, once I published the short story book for Kindle on Amazon and made it available on Smashwords, I was shocked to see how many people are actually reading books this way exclusively.

My fifteen year old niece got a Kindle for Christmas. After showing me how this nifty little device works I was a bit more understanding why many are choosing read on these devices. Books are cheaper for E-readers (generally speaking) and it fits easily into your pocket, depending on the size you buy.

With such a change happening in the publishing industry, I can't help but wonder how things are changing for literary agents and publishing houses as the costs of books are being driven down by these devices. Of course, your major authors will probably still sell books for a much larger price despite having less costs incurred by actually having a book printed.

My short story book sells for $3.99 online for E-reader devices. Oddly enough, I make more money per book (if I could actually sell a few!!!) than selling a paperback version for $20. If self-publishing were actually profitable, it seems that both the artist and the reader would benefit by saving a few bucks and a few trees.

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