Simon Wood

Hump Day: My Obligation

Now that eBooks seem to be taking off, they’ve caused a little friction in the publishing world, especially with the publishing industry struggling so much. I’m not sure anyone can place all the blame at the eBook’s door. Personally, I think the publishing industry has been hit by a perfect storm of a problem—eBooks, the bad economy and a dozen other things I believe have hurt traditional publishing.

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,
Simon Wood

4 Responses to “Hump Day: My Obligation”

  1. Cindy-Lee

    I am a total ebook convert! Prior to, first downloading Kindle for PC and reading thru my netbook, then receiving a Sony ereader for Christmas, I can tell you exactly how many books I had purchesed…2 in about 2 years. Now, however, I am purchasing and loading 2-3 books per week. It isn’t that I don’t love the feeling of a book in my hands, but I am an impatient person. If someone tells me that they just finished a fabulous book, I want it now, before I forget about it, or have to make a trip into the city to buy it, or wait for the mail to arrive!

  2. Gloria

    I live to read. Hardback, ebook, web, tattered pages from the trash. Remember the movie ___________ Charing Road? That’s me.

    Goodreads is both friend and foe. I find myself lost in time when I go there. Like today and finding your listing and your recommendations.

    What can I say but “kudos to you.”

  3. Simon Wood

    Thanks for the comments, peeps.

    Gloria: the number you were looking for 84. I love goodreads and I’m glad you liked the page. 🙂


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