I’ve taken a little heat from various corners regarding my ebookification of my backlist. These concerned parties have ranged from writers to bookstores, to complete strangers. It’s as if I’ve crossed over to the dark side. I don’t think I have and if I have, I brought a flashlight.
Personally, I prefer reading a real book to an eBook. I like the tactile experience of a book, because I love stories and I love to be able to hold a story in my hands and say something good exists here. But that’s me. If people prefer to listen to their book on CD or read them on a screen, who am I to judge. All I care about is people reading.
Two of my publishers specifically asked me not to release an eBook version of a couple of my titles because it would rob from print sales. I held off for quite awhile until one of the publishers told me he’d bought a Kindle and stopped buying books. Last year, I conducted a survey and asked a group of eBook consumers about their reading/book buying habits and the results were quite interesting. Once people went digital for their books, they didn’t come back. Very few split their reading time between digital and print. So, for my publishers who asked me not to go with an eBook edition out of fear of losing book sales, the issue was out of both our hands. Once people go digital, they go all the way and I’m losing readers by ignoring this fact.
And this is the issue here—readers. I want to be read. I’m not choosing one publishing format over another. I want to be published in all formats. I want my books available in hard cover, paperback, audio, digital and whatever other format people desire. As long as people want books (specifically my books), I will endeavor to provide it whatever format is available. If people want to stories my books printed in maple syrup on a pancake, I will make that happen. I’ll do that for the reader. It’s that important. Now, that may not be popular with everyone, but I want to give the reader what they want. Nothing else matters. That’s where my obligation lies.
Yours under no obligation,