Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ebooks Versus Paperbacks

Hi, everyone. I write under various names but for the purpose of this blog I am Anne Ireland. You can read more about me at various blogs or my website, but this blog is about the merits of ebooks versus Paperbacks.

I often hear people ask what are the advantages and disadvantages of the ebook as against the old favourite the paperback and what is the future for both. In my opinion both have a good future and I think the ebook future can and probably will be brilliant, as long as the standard is maintained at a high level. I'm not too keen on self publishing unless the book has been previously published and edited or you are super good at doing your own editing. Editors play an important part and authors need them.

There are some people who are never going to give up their paper books and I think I shall always want some books in solid format. However, if I am going to keep them as favourites, I would prefer hardback, if I could afford them, every time. As I can't I'm still going to be buying some of my books in paperback. I find this format is much the best for researching history as the Internet sites do not always get their facts right. If researching history this way please check with properly published history books, and it's easier to find the passages you need in paperback.

As far as buying books goes ebooks wins hands down. Before I had my kindle I wasn't keen on reading ebooks because I didn't want to sit at my computer after working at it for hours in the day, but my kindle is easy on the eye and I love it. I can also buy a book and have it within seconds, which suits me. If I want a paperback I either have to order from Amazon and wait or drive into town, half an hour's journey - and then they may not have it in stock. So for pleasure reading give me an ebook every time.

So as a reader I have a foot in both camps. Now we'll talk about it from the author's point of view. How rich will you get from writing ebooks? I do know of a few authors whose work is primarily published by large epublishers who make a decent living, but I know lots more authors who earn very little from their books and this is a pity. Personally, I feel the really huge sellers are going to be with mainstream publishers who do first hardback, then paperback and then ebook publications. These are the big established authors who sell in millions. Next come some of us who sell thousands of paperbacks with mainstream publishers who also now do the three prong publication.

Under one of my persona's I recently had a best seller in kindle. It was at number 2 in the historical romance list for ages, and didn't drop out of the top twenty for months. As yet I don't know exactly how many books that equates to but I do know I've been paid for more than nine hundred copies thus far and expect at least the same in the next half-yearly statement. What I am also wondering is whether it is going to affect my paperback sales and I shan't know this until my next statement. If as I hope the ebook readers are new to my books this will mean a considerable rise in royalties for me and all the other authors, especially as the royalties on ebooks are set to rise with this publisher next year.

If paperback sales remain constant and thus far mine have, the ebook is going to be a huge boost for authors published in this way. What I hope is that smaller individual epublishers are going to benefit from rising sales in the same way. Perhaps not to the extent of this mainstream publisher but enough to make it profitable for authors and publishers alike.

I want to see good ebooks published and good royalties for authors, real profits for publishers and editors. Do I think this is acheivable? Yes, I do - and sooner than we thought. Much of this is down to kindle, which has certainly picked up many many new readers, particularly in the UK. As time goes on this market can only grow. So fingers crossed for all of us in the future.

I know some of you will wonder why if I sell books in large quantities I also write for smaller publishers and the answer is that some books will never be published in mainstream, and like other established authors, I like to write something different now and then. If some of you think I am bragging about my sales I apologise. This is meant to be an evaluation of the merits of ebooks against paperbacks. I've used my personal experience in an open and frank way to show other authors what is now available out. The sales are there and rising. There is no reason why any of you cannot go out and grab as many sales for yourself as I've achieved and in all probability more. That particular book was a best seller for some unkonwn reason and some of my other ebooks at the same publisher have not done as well but - fingers crossed - in time they may. I know it was very exciting while it lasted.

So I think ebooks are here to stay and will continue to rise, providing we don't kill the goose that lays the golden egg by producing ill edited and poorly constructed books. Love your editor, because even if during edits you want to strangle her, a well edited book sells better. Recently, I read a lovely book but with so many mistakes it was spoiled. She had self edited. So stick with your publisher. The Muse will increase sales year on year and eventually may become one of the big ones. Those who have been here from the start will be well established so feel pleased with yourself for discovering this publisher. I like Lea's ethics.

Good luck to you all and lots of sales
Best wishes
Anne Ireland
Sisters Of The Ring
Romance, magic, mystery


Roseanne Dowell said...

I agree eBooks are here to stay. I also love the hard copies and I agree there is a future for both. Ebook readers have the advantage of downloading a book immediately. They don't have to leave their homes to do it. I think eBooks are great for busy people who still want to find time to read.
Great post.

Mindy Hardwick said...

I love the immediacy of ebooks! When I want to read a new book, it's a simple click rather than a drive to the bookstore or library! Great post!

Linda Sole said...

Thanks for appreciating the post Mindy - a lot of thought went into it.