So here’s something interesting. The paperback version of Oak and Mist is outselling the e-book version by more than two-to-one.
When I published, it was very important to me to have a paperback version of the book, as I personally feel that there is a wonderful permanence to being able to hold a book in your hand. To be able to mark the pages, flip back to bits you want to re-read, get those white creases down the spine that show a book has been read again and again. For this is how I read. I have a bookcase filled with books I love, books I go back to over and over, even though I know how the story ends. I just enjoy being able, for a little while, to step back into a world familiar and strange all at the same time. And I find that when I do, even if it’s a story I’ve read several times, there are still passages that are fresh to me, things I hadn’t noticed the last time around.
I had a friend who, once she had read a book, got rid of it. Her feeling was that, once she had read it, she didn’t need to do so again. I can see her point but cannot relate in the slightest. Perhaps it is a skill we need to have as writers, the ability to go back to a story. For that is what we have to do each time we edit. We have to revisit our work and read it with fresh eyes and an open mind. If we’re lucky, we will love what we read and it will be a pleasure to go back over it again and again.
I love the thought that my book is out there in the world, being shelved in bookcases across the globe, read and hopefully re-read. A regional library has also ordered some copies, which is a huge thrill (I love libraries) – this wouldn’t have been possible had I only published as an e-book.
To fellow writers out there, have you found this to be the case for your own work? And what about my fellow readers – which format do you prefer? I do have a Kindle and enjoy the convenience of it, especially when travelling, but it seems the humble paperback is still preferred by many (including me, if I’m honest).
And thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of Oak and Mist, whether digital or paperback – I hope you’re enjoying the read xx
I prefer old fashioned book books, and also keep them or lend them out. The best ones get tattier with repeat reading. I don’t own a kindle. I ordered the paperback version of your book and am about to begin reading it. Hope it’s good.
Hi Barbara. I like a proper book book as well – I only got my Kindle when I published Oak and Mist, as I thought I should see what it looked like on there. It’s quite useful for editing purposes, as I can download my manuscript to it and read it when I’m out, but otherwise give me a paperback any day! And thank you so much for buying a copy of my book – I really do hope you enjoy it. As to whether it’s good, reviews so far as positive but I do understand how subjective these things are – I’ll be very interested to hear what you think 🙂
I too, love a proper book, but I bought the kindle version of Oak & Mist. I’ll tell you why, because of my eyesight. I like to read in bed, at the end of the day, my eyes are tired, I’ve been wearing glasses all day…… oh the joy of a kindle where you can make the print as large as you like !
Hi Sarah – you make a very good point about the print size – that’s one advantage a Kindle definitely has over a book 🙂 And thank you so much for buying Oak and Mist, I do hope you enjoy it xx
Kindle versions have grown on me over time, so I don’t mind which version I read these days. A paperback is lighter in the hands, of course, but I love the ease you can highlight and make notes with a kindle—no pencil or sticky notes needed! The best thing about a kindle, though, is that you can enlarge the font! I’ve even bought a kindle version of a couple of paperbacks when the font was too small and strained my eyes too much.
Oh, just saw Sarah’s comment above making the same point about font size and weary eyes!
I do think it’s a good point – it’s definitely an advantage 🙂 And I haven’t yet tried the note function on my Kindle, will have to give it a go and see what I think.
I did an initial print run of my first book and sold about a dozen copies to friends and family, but no one else bought it. I published the print edition of the second one on Create Space, thinking that having it on Amazon would drive sales. But less than a quarter of sales of that book have been print copies.
I buy most of my books in print. It took a long time to even pick up an E-reader of my own, as I simply wasn’t interested. I love holding a book, turning the pages, and yes, the smell! But now that I have a Kindle I do pick up a lot of ebooks, especially those by fellow self-publishing authors. But unlike the books on my shelves, which have nearly all (I have a waiting list!) been read at least once, some dozens of times, many of the ebooks I buy go unread at all If I had more time then I’m sure I’d get to them all eventually, but as a busy single mum and author, leisure time is limited.
Hi Holly – that’s very interesting, that your e-books are outselling your print copies by such a margin. I suppose it just goes to show that every book is different and there are no set rules for us self-published authors when it comes to format and reader preference 🙂 Like you, I also buy the majority of my books in print, but am slowly coming round to the e-reader. And I hear you about having time to read at all – I have several books lined up just waiting for me to have time to look at them! Perhaps instead of a writers retreat, what we need to start is a readers retreat, a closed space with comfy seats and lots of snacks where you can go for a weekend and just catch up on it all 🙂
Pingback: Birthday | Journey To Ambeth
I haven’t broken down and bought an e-reader. As a reader, I love the feel of an actual book, and as a writer I’m with you in liking the idea that my book’s sitting on someone’s bookcase–an actual physical object that won’t disappear in a cloud of pixels.
This is so true, Ellen. The only reason I bought one was because I was about to publish and thought I should at least have an idea of how my book would look on it 🙂 I must say I have found it very useful for editing, as I can send manuscripts to it. But give me a real book any day!
I love how this looks in that format. I have books i miss because i can’t schlep them around the world 😦 but tgf kindle! Some people dream of furnishing their homes. I dream of book casing mine lol. But books cost at least twice as much in Buenos Aires so again tgf kindle.
Tgf Kindle indeed! I got rid of a load of books before we moved from Australia, as they are so expensive to send, but I couldn’t get rid of them all. And I’ve been adding to them, of course… 🙂
Yes! When I grow up (when?) I will replenish all my books and have a beautiful bookcase wall, when I decide where I’ll settle in life (where? if? and with what money???) hahaha!
Oh, I’m still waiting to grow up 😀 You’ll have your fabulous bookcase one day, I know it!