sonyIn case you missed it, in February sales of eBooks were up an astonishing 202% from the same month just a year before. To make the news even more impressive, for the first time eBooks exceeded sales of all other formats – specifically hardcovers and, the former staple of romance, mass market paperbacks.

Wow.  Just wow.  This change has happened far faster than I ever would have expected and it reflects a few things that I think are most significant for readers:

  • The enormous ease of eReading.  You want it, you got it without having to worry about whether or not a capricious bookseller will have the book you want in stock.
  • The anonymity of eReading.  While I wish it weren’t the case, women are often embarrassed or uncomfortable reading romance and with eReading, it’s your business and yours alone.

And, even more astoundingly, this growth occurred despite the lame-fisted, ham-handed, stupid, ridiculous, short-sighted, hide-bound, tradition-worshipping New York publishing industry.

You know, what I’m talking about.  The stuff that’s designed to make you feel like you’re doing a bad thing when you buy less than the hallowed dead tree book like:

  • The unabashed debacle that is Agency Pricing. I can somehow hear the Soup Nazi in my head as he repeats over and over again: No discount for you!!!
  • Delayed release dates.  What, I really mean WTF, is up with that?
  • No covers on many books.  So, I’m expected to pay full price for a book and you don’t even give me a cover?  Gee, thanks!
  • Formatting and other errors that publishers really don’t seem to give a damn about.  Think I’m exaggerating?  The eye-opening discussion here proves just how bad it can be.

I’ll be honest: I’m not big on eBook originals by authors unknown to me.  My time is short and there’s a lot of chaff I have to filter before I can comfortably invest my time and my money in the unknown.  I’m sure I’ll miss out on some great stuff, but there it is.  But for authors I do know, hell yeah!  Skip that New York thing and bring your books on home to me in a format I’ve wholeheartedly embraced.

So, let’s have a discussion about eBooks and you.  Here are my questions:

  • Do you use an eReader?
  • Have you ever missed the feel of a book in your hands – something that’s oft sighted by those who haven’t jumped on the eReading bandwagon?
  • If you are one of those who hasn’t jumped, is there anything that could be said to convince you or are you sticking?  Does library eReading now available on other eReaders and coming soon to Kindle make a difference?
  • Are you as disgusted with Agency Pricing and  late releases and…gee, just being treated like second class citizens by New York publishers as I am?
  • If your favorite New York-published authors decided to ePub themselves – as Connie Brockway recently told us she’s doing – will you follow her?
  • Would you like to see more authors go rogue?

– Sandy AAR

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