Diving Into Digital

“What’s with the e-book? I don’t read my books on the computer!”  I’ve been hearing this a lot lately when I try to tell people my newest book will be coming out in digital format only (for the time being at least).

Before I try to talk you into it, let me tell you that I completely sympathize.  Before May of this year, I had never read an e-book.   I say this somewhat shamefacedly because, really, how could I presume to be an e-book author having never read an e-book? I preferred my books in paper, the feel, the smell, everything about them.

I’ll tell you, though, since I remedied that with my own Sony Touch eReader (just like the pretty red one to the left), I’ve become a convert!

First, let me tell you all the things e-books aren’t:

1) They aren’t (if they are put out by reputable publishers) hastily written, poorly edited, crap. I wrote THE KISS TEST prior to writing VENUS ENVY and VENUS GUY TRAP, and it took just as much time, love, and attention that my two print-published books took to produce.

Once Carina Press purchased the book for publication, it was edited with the same loving care as my other books by Gina Bernal, a former editor with a major print publisher.  Never once did I feel my book didn’t get as much (if not more) care and attention that my print books got.

Many print publishers simultaneously publish their printed books in digital format…same book, alternative way to read it.  The publisher for THE KISS TEST is Carina Press, an imprint of Harlequin, the largest romance publisher in the industry. Every book they publish, print or digital, potentially affects their reputation.  They don’t accept every book submitted to them for publication.

2)  They don’t have to be hard on the eyes. This was my main concern when contemplating reading digital books.  I work at a computer for the day job, then I write at a computer.  My eyes are often protesting mightily by the end of the day.  I thought the last thing I would want to do is read books on a computer.

But when I tried out the Sony eReader, which utilizes eInk for its display (as does Amazon’s Kindle reader), which is very much like a printed page…no backlighting. Plus, you can zoom in and set the font size for whatever is most comfortable for your eyes. I’ve found I nearly always enlarge the font, and I have read for hours and hours with no discomfort at all.

3) They aren’t only able to be read on a dedicated e-reader like the Kindle or Kobo or Nook. There are other ways to read e-books without buying an e-reader. Though e-reader prices are coming down quickly and noticeably (the Sony eReader I bought is available now for somewhere around $80-100 less than the price it was when I bought it!), they still might seem a little pricey. Rest assured, there’s no reason to buy an e-reader just to read e-books.

Susanna Fraser, my RWA chaptermate and fellow Carina Press author, has a great  explanation on her blog about how to read an e-book without buying an e-reader.

Hopefully, I’ve allayed some of your fears. If not, what are some of your worries about e-books? I’ll try to address them in another blog entry. I’ll also come back another day and and tell you some of the advantages of e-books over print.  Because, while I won’t ever completely give up printed books, I am now definitely a fan of digital format!