I just did an annual check of my book sales on Amazon. One of those books has been there over four years. They were all first published as eBooks. All along the writer’s way, I kept having people say, “Oh, but I just LOVE to hold a ‘real’ book in my hands.” Lovely. Yes, the feel of paper is like the caress of a lover’s tender fingers, isn’t it? There’s nothing like holding a real paper book in your hands, is there?. “Balderdash!” (I’ve always wanted a reason to use that word.) “Great Jumping Jehosophat!” (I like that one, too.)
All along the writer’s way I kept saying, “But, I can sell you an eBook for $2.99 which will cost you eleven bucks in a printed form. And, electronically, you can change the type to bigger or smaller, you can change the line spacing, you can customize it to make it easy for you individually to read. And, Amazon will give you a free program that allows you to read it on any electronic device, including your phone.”
“Oh, but I just L O V E to hold a ‘real’ book in my hands.”
So, I finally gave in about a year ago. I had all of my major novels also published in paperback form. They are nice, slick paperbacks, 6 x 9 inches, a beautiful cover, and they are made of real paper.
Guess how many of those have sold?
About a half dozen. Yep, six paperbacks in a year. Where are all those “real book” folks? While only a few paperbacks have been bought, even the older eBooks continue to sell on a daily basis. I have one more (my latest) that has also been done in paperback (The ebook version sells for $4.99; the paperback costs $12.00 and I make no royalty on the paper version so I don’t care if anybody buys “paper.”) There is an Amazon deal, though, called “Matchbook.” If you spring for the $12 paper book you can get the eBook for $0.99, although why anyone would want both is beyond me.
Okay, then. I’m through with “paper.” My original conclusion was right. The few people, who still read books, read them on a Kindle or Android or iPad. As my wife says, “The only people who read paper books buy them at Barnes & Noble off the remainder table.” My wife is never wrong. Just ask her.