Even More Real Data

Verso did a very good and pretty solid study on e-reading public, buying new devices, and resistance to even buying a reading device.  Some fantastic data in this new study.

One thing I find interesting is that over the last year the resistance to reading fiction on a device has grown to around 50% of all book readers.

Basically, what that means is that indie publishers must use all methods to get their work to readers. I poke fun at the writers who think Kindle is the only place, but I haven’t been shouting much at the writers who don’t bother to go into paper as well with their novels. And by not doing so, they are missing 50% of the reading public.

Anyhow, another fantastic study with real data. And they put how they did the study and the details on the first page. Worth a read. Again, simple to read and understand with great charts.


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39 Responses to Even More Real Data

  1. Lee McAulay says:

    Shout at us ebook-only folk a bit more, please!

  2. Absolutely. I can’t understand why people won’t put out POD versions of their work. Even if they don’t sell a lot, they sell something – and to my, possibly ignorant, way of looking at it, if I sell some copies of my books, I get some money, while if I sell no copies of my books I get no money, and I think some money is better.

    And you will have some readers who will buy multiple formats. I know one person who, whenever I put out a book, buys an e-book copy. And a paperback to read. And another paperback to lend out. And a hardback so it’ll look nice on his shelf. His boyfriend also buys his own e-book copy as well. Why would you *not* want to sell to readers like that?

    There’s also the legitimacy factor. Some people, even though they have e-readers, don’t think of e-books as being ‘real’ books. If they see a paperback edition on the same Amazon page, it suddenly looks a lot more real.

    And on top of that, having a paperback edition – priced higher than the e-book – means that on the Amazon page you see “Paperback price $15 (or whatever), e-book price $5″ – which then makes the e-book price look like a great saving, rather than looking more expensive than all those 99 cent and free books.

  3. camille says:

    While I agree that indie publishers should use every method at their disposal to distribute their books as widely as possible….

    I would just note that everyone I know who has gone over to ereaders were most vehemently against them just before they gave in.

    • dwsmith says:

      Folks, I have a horrid confession to make. In this house we have two Kindles and two iPads. I use my iPad all the time for looking up book prices and checking on books, and Kris reads newspapers on her iPad and a ton of books on her Kindle. But that said, we also have a huge paper library of books and magazines. Both old and new. In fact, as this estate closes, this library will get even bigger. And I have yet to read a book on a Kindle or iPad and can’t see myself doing so in the near future. I have read books on this computer screen for helping people or doing something for a publisher, but if it can’t be on paper, I won’t read it. So count me into the 50% side as a reader. I just can’t see myself jumping to reading on a Kindle or my iPad. Oh, and we have a plan to buy a new Nook Color for WMG to test books. And maybe a Sony Reader as well. So we buy the readers and my wife loves to read on them. Me, I’ll take the hardback, and Shelley at our local bookstore knows this and gets me new signed Patersons and Cusslers and so many others.

      So when you look at that data on 50% resistance against reading on devices, remember that data is skewed in many ways. And I am example of that skewing.

      But I also never reread my own work, ever. So I am really messed up by author standards. (grin)

  4. Annie Reed says:

    I had a small group of first readers for one of my novels, so when I put it up on Smashwords, I gave each of them a SW coupon for 50% off as a thank you for their input. One of them emailed me back thanking me but saying she’d rather wait for the print book; although she has a Sony ereader, there are books she’d rather have in print and mine was one of them. Good thing I’d always planned to do a print version.

    The expense of doing a print book through CreateSpace isn’t that much if a writer does the work herself (and if I can figure out Photoshop Elements, anybody can). I don’t know why a writer wouldn’t offer a print copy.

  5. Extremely useful data. That’s because of posts like this that yours is one of the few blogs I still read on a regular base.

    Confirms a few things I was already seeing happen with my own ebooks.

  6. Over the last few months I’ve noticed more people saying they’ll never switch from paper to e-books, probably in part because they’ve only recently had a chance to use an e-reader and see what they thought of it.

    The pricing section is also interesting, as it seems to prove quite clearly that the vast majority of readers are happy to pay substantially more than $0.99 for an e-book.

    • dwsmith says:

      Ahh, Edward, I was avoiding that part of the study. (grin) Yes, their data shows that readers are more and more willing to pay above $9.99 for an e-book. Actually 30% of readers are willing to go above $11 now. I found that very interesting. But again, I wouldn’t want to price anything but a nonfiction book that high because it is pushing out 70% of the e-readers who won’t go that high. Now I wish a real study by a real organization would ask the question of readers how many would never buy a 99 cent novel. (grin) I bet it’s a pretty large number as well.

  7. This just confirmed what I’ve been saying all along and no one will listen to me: avid readers love books and buy them in lots of different ways.

    I’m an avid reader. We have an iPad, a kobo, and two Sony’s in our house. We all read on the devices. We also all read print books. We continue to buy both kinds of books.

    • dwsmith says:

      Krista, and I think your family will be the norm in the future. We will all read in all sorts of ways. Kris just had five paper books come in today from Amazon and she bought another on Sunday from Shelley. Yet most of her reading of fiction is on the Kindle.

  8. Why on earth would a writer want to reread their own books? “With the whole history of literature available to me, six thousand years or more of people writing on every conceivable topic from every conceivable viewpoint, I’ll read the only books in the world that can’t possibly contain anything I’ve never thought before.”

    Sounds bizarre.

  9. Sotirios Fox says:

    So, in that presentation, I noticed that eBooks have moved out of the ‘Early Adopters’ stage and into the ‘Early Majority’ stage. Of course, since this was done in 2011, they’re probably working their way rather quickly through the Early Majority as well. I’m very unqualified, but I’m guessing the ‘innovation cycle’ of eReaders will basically run its course within the next couple years? Of course, ebooks themselves aren’t strictly tied into this cycle. They’ll be able to exist and grow until they’re eventually outdated by the galactic ansible or whatever the next big innovation happens to be.

    Between the proliferation and adoption of eReaders and the ‘opening up’ of more global eBook marketplaces, what does this mean for indie writers?

    Before I try to answer that myself, I see that, also, according to the study, resistance to buying eReaders is rising dramatically with their proliferation. For some reason this doesn’t worry me. First off, if I understood it correctly, resistance is all based on personal preference which could be affected by age, gender, etc…

    With that being said, I can’t help but think that it’s impossible to tell how resistant readers will be within the coming years. I’m sure opinions change, and a lot of ‘resistant’ types might eventually soften.

    Of course, am I in anyway knowledgeable enough to state that with any sort of authority? No. I’m pretty much just voicing my layman’s views of this trend. Even if resistance levels stay high, though, I think that some of those readers (obviously not all, but even a small amount is better than none here) can be reached via the POD route, which is what Dean and all the other sensible folks here agree upon. So I don’t think this ‘resistance’ meme is too much of a threat.

    Back to my original question: what do these studies and predictions and crystal ball gazing mean for indie writers? I’m still not sure. I’d like to think that it’s a good thing, whatever it is. I know nobody here, to my knowledge, can see the future, but it seems like the next couple years should be pretty good to eBooks and indie writers in general.

    Is that hopeful thinking? Probably. Who knows, maybe within a couple years these 70% cuts we writers get on books will be a thing of the past and we’ll all be scrabbling for 15% or something, or maybe the eReader revolution will fizzle out unexpectedly and we all have to go back to legacy publishing, or this, or that…none of these hypothetical situations or doomsday scenarios should scare writers away. No use worrying about all the terrible things that -might- happen.

    To answer my original question:

    I think that new eReaders plus new global marketplaces (fingers crossed for India, someday!) equals more readers. More readers means more opportunities to sell them stuff, you get the idea. Will there be a visible difference in the markets three or five years from now? Will indies be able to easily sell several times as many copies, averaged, compared to their numbers now? That’s probably just me dreaming. But, after this long diatribe, I just gotta say that I feel like the future of digital books and indie publishing is pretty bright.

    • dwsmith says:

      Sotirios, with my cracked and cloudy crystal ball, I think I can safely answer one of your questions. You asked, “Will there be a visible difference in the markets three or five years from now?”

      My answer: Oh, hell yes. A huge difference. We are at 15-18% e-book to paper book sales right now, depending on the study and the time of the year. That’s expected to grow past what was thought to be a nasty point of 20-25% this year and in three years will hit the 50% of all books sold will be electronic. That’s huge.

      And around the world, just think of them following the same pattern that the States followed. We are about two years ahead. So in three years large parts of the rest of the planet will be where we are now and beyond in electronic books sales, which is a huge added market.

      For the next few years, readers and buyers of electronic books will just go up steadily. Maybe not at the 200% growth quarter over quarter, but still huge growth. No doubt about that at all.

  10. allynh says:

    There is a writer that I will buy anything she writes. One of her novels is e-book only. I have the Amazon page bookmarked. I check that page each week to see if she has a paper version yet. I will wait until it is POD, then I will buy it.

    My own books will be both e-book and POD. I am doing the paper books so that I can have them on my shelves at home. I’m designing the covers/interiors the way I want them, for me to read.

    - The books will be written, published, bought by a total stranger, read, and thus complete. (It’s all about the Observer Effect and the Copenhagen Interpretation. HA!)

    Reviews mean nothing to me. I will never look down my Amazon pages to read any of the “Customer Reviews”. I’ve seen too many food fights in reviews where the author or some friend/family-member starts attacking a bad review. Some of those food fights have ended up mentioned on the NYTimes book review pages. I’m going to go so far as to only use pen names, never my own, and I will not tell family/friends names or titles.

    You see, my target audience is that 80 year old me that will see a wall filled with books. Everything I’m doing, great story, quality, complexity, is so that he can sit and read something that he can enjoy, period.

    • dwsmith says:

      allynh, on your favorite author, you might want to just search in the regular bookstore for that book you think is e-book only. Sometimes the publisher or the author has to tell Amazon to link the paper and e-book editions, even through CreateSpace. So the book might be out there, just not linked.

  11. JR Tomlin says:

    That’s too bad, Dean. I’m sorry to hear you’re limiting yourself that much since the light weight of an eReader (I own and use both a Kindle and a Sony), the ability to read easily in bed turning pages with the flick of a finger (grin) and the ability to change font sizes makes reading on an eReader so much more pleasant, it is hard to describe. But that’s how you want to read, so that’s how you want to read.

    I also don’t understand people who don’t put their novels in paper. It’s easy enough to do, no harder really than putting it in eBook. I think it may be related to the old concerns about a garage full of books, but Amazon sells my print versions just fine.

    As far as price, I don’t think people are as willing to try authors they don’t know over $9.99. Once they know them, they are, but why should I charge that much when I make a very good profit, more than I would with a Big 6 publisher, at under 5 bucks?

  12. JR Tomlin says:

    Oh, my reaction to the survey?

    I find that very hard to believe that more than 30% of book purchases are from recommendations from books store staff. It’s the kind of thing people mark on a survey because it sounds good. We are also asked to believe that people mostly recall why bought particular books, when it is often a combination of factors. There is no “I was just looking for something–anything–to read”, no “it had an interesting cover” or “I liked the blurb” you will notice. No, “I’d heard of the author and just thought I’d try them out”.

    I’m frankly skeptical that you can read much into the results except that there are a lot of factors that may influence people, blogs and social media amongst them.

  13. I would like to see their specific question (or questions) related to likelihood of adopting an e-reader. In particular (and they hint at this in one slide, but I want more details), did they distinguish between e-readers and tablets? There are two hypothetical statements:

    “Hell, no! I don’t want an e-reader! I want paper!”


    “Hell, no! I don’t want an e-reader! I want a tablet, so I can read books and do a whole lot more!”

    If those two statements are both lumped together under the heading “Unlikely to adopt an e-reader”, that’s misleading. And I don’t say they are lumped together; I’m saying that the slide show doesn’t clearly say. To me, it seems like the most plausible reason why resistance would actually increase in recent years.

    • dwsmith says:

      Actually, Martin, there are a ton more reasons why that statement is misleading. Say you just bought a Kindle or got one for Christmas and was asked that question about buying an e-reader in the next year. Your answer would be “No, no thought of doing so.” Because you already had one.

      So yes, I agree with you and JR about looking at the data with a cold eye, but at least this is some data. Better than one person swearing by their experience and making that gospel. Maybe not a lot better, but better, and more what I look to as guidelines, even though I also look at the studies with a skeptical eye.

  14. Sotirios Fox says:

    Haha, glad my optimism isn’t too misplaced, Dean. For some reason whenever I look at this new world of publishing (there’s a title drop for ya) I sometimes feel a pang of guilt, like things aren’t supposed to be this good.

    But we live in exciting times. Very exciting considering the fact that less than a decade ago this whole eBook thing was pretty much a pipe dream. Now look at it: things are shifting and changing yearly, and, in a lot of instances, even down to monthly and weekly.

    A lot of indie writers are proclaiming this as the death of traditional publishing. I know that’s a topic you’ve covered here before, and I’m in full agreement that this -isn’t- the end of big publishers. A few will fall off, of course, and the big publishers may have to make some adjustments to their business – though that depends a lot on what, exactly, their writers are willing to put up with.

    Overall, it seems like a really neat time to be a writer. In fact, it’s a fantastic time to be a writer. I know a lot of folks are scared about the changes the industry’s going through, but hopefully they’ll work through their fears and realize the world’s not coming to an end.

    Sure, things will change. Faces like Amazon, B&N and Smashwords may be replaced, or their standings may change. We’ll probably see a surge (we’re already seeing some of this) in vanity publishing operations and other scams where writers have to pay someone to publish their books.

    One thing I don’t buy is the idea that the ebook marketplace will be ‘flooded’ with ‘millions’ of products and that readers won’t be able to find your book through all the ‘noise.’ That’s just another one of the ugly new myths that’s been created in this shakeup.

    As both a very young person and a beginning writer, everything that’s going on just seems surreal to me. I can’t even begin to think what it must seem like to the veterans of the business such as you or Kris.

    • dwsmith says:

      Sotirios, the old days were awful. We had to fight our way through hip-deep snow up hill both ways to the post office every day to get our meager hand-outs from publishers in our tin cups. (grin)

      Actually, I love this new world as well. The way traditional publishing was headed two years ago with the agent stuff and bestsellers only thinking, I imagine a time would have come that I would just said “Life is too short.” And moved on to doing something else again. But now it’s fun again, writing is fun again. Great times.

  15. Cora says:

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who prefers to read in print, even though I publish electronically. And I will definitely offer print editions, once I have something of a length where print is viable.

  16. JR – Bookstore staff recommends at Chapters account for 90%+ of all the books I have bought my stepkids. In fact, I can only think of one book that I didn’t buy that was related to a store recommendation.

    No wait, two. One for each kid.

    I guess it’s more like 99.9%. I’ve bought those kids a lot of books over the years…

  17. My sliver of a crystal ball doesn’t tell me much, but I see reflections of a couple of things:

    1.) Even at 100 percent adoption of ebooks, many people will still be collecting at least some paper books. (However, at that point people will probably want nice editions, since they will be purchases as mementos.)

    2.) The target will constantly change.

    I have been reading ebooks for over ten years — but I never wanted an “ereader.” I liked reading on my PDAs, and later on my iPod Touch — because I always had them with me. That is the main attraction, for me. I have to be out of the house a lot.

    But I always read paper books at home.

    Then a friend bought me a Kindle for checking out formatting of my books. I did not even expect to use it for much ebook reading (doesn’t fit in my purse). To my shock….

    I haven’t touched a paper book since.

    I have a stack of them I’m eager to read, and yet I don’t read them because I can’t afford to re-buy them in ebook format.

    I love my paper editions, and I will certainly acquire more, but I am shocked at my own complete resistance to reading them any more. (And I’m going to have to.) Especially since I swear endlessly at my Kindle for things it won’t do. But it does do the one thing I most want of it: it has hundreds of books at my fingertips, and I don’t have to go rummaging.

    (Also, I can change the text size when I have a migraine.)

    BTW, I am someone who rereads her own work, but then that’s what I write them for.

  18. TJ says:

    I still get sticker shock when I see ebooks that are priced higher than I can buy new paperbacks. It’s pure greed and stupidity on the part of the publishers. One of these days it’s going to come back and bite them in the ass.

    The plural of anecdote is not data but;

    I bought Patrick Lee’s new novel Deep Sky at Wal Mart earlier this week for $5.99. List price for the paperback is $7.99. Kindle price is $7.99. Harper-Collins needs to get their collective heads examined if they think this pricing strategy is going to work well for them.

    When I was in high school I read Jerry Ahern’s The Survivalist series, and got a wild hair the other day to read them again. Digital list prices on the Kindle editions are $9.99. These are 60-80k word action/adventure pulp novels that came out starting in 1981, FFS. How many of the 29 book series do you think I bought at that price? *crickets chirping*

    I’m sorry, but to me there’s a big difference between plonking down $16.00 for Kris’ brand-spanking-new Diving universe novel *squeeeeee* in a sexy-as-hell trade paperback edition, and spending $9.99 on the Kindle edition of a 30+ year old pulp novel that sold at bargain basement prices when it was new.

  19. Looking at that survey, I guess I’m a rarity. Depending on the year, I may or may not have qualified as an “avid reader” by the survey’s standards, but I have always considered myself one. That said, now that I have my Kindle Touch, I never intend to buy a print book again. Neither does my wife (she digs on her Fire). Why load ourselves down? Books weigh a LOT and take up a lot of space. Maybe that doesn’t matter for some folks. But for us, at least until I’m out of the Navy we move every 2 to 3 years. More books = more weight on the moving truck = more expense. Hell we’ve been getting rid of books for the last couple months, along with bookshelves and other things, just because we’re getting ready to move. Or plan? We’ll buy the ebook version and only keep the print versions of books we really, truly love or that are signed by the author.

    As to not putting out print versions. Yeah…guilty as charged there. I’ve sure been intending to get that done. I really have. But I was busy writing other things. Then the holidays came along. Then… Well you get the picture. I downloaded the template from Createspace and actually have my first novel mostly laid out in a way that looks pretty good. It’s just something I have not forced myself to finish yet. Not sure why. Maybe it’s the permanence of it, or my own prejudices (see the last paragraph) pushing in. Or just figuring out how to turn that ebook cover into a print cover.

    Man, I sound like a whiney little jackass, don’t I? That does it, I’m getting the print version of that novel done, then my other titles too. No more screwing around.

    Thanks, Dean.


  20. Russ says:

    Let’s say these facts as true:

    1. 50% of the readers will not buy e-books
    2. Publishers do not listen or care what readers/writers think (per Kris’ blog)

    Let’s assume NY publishers have a greater profit margin in e-books versus print.

    Does this mean NY will ignore such a survey and push readers into the e-book market? I don’t know but from a pure P&L perspective you go with what makes you the most money. End product its not very important if the costs of production are too high. That’s how corporations operate.

    As an example let’s look at music. The 8 track was king at one time where are we now? 8 Tracks must have been costly to ship versus cassettes. And CD’s are obviously more costly than MP3′s sold on-line. You can still get CD’s, but 8 tracks and cassettes are available at your local yard sale in Somewheretown.

    And in movies what about the wars between beta and VHS and then blu ray versus HD versus now on-line? The public said beta was a better format but who won? The end of that battle was pure dollars and sense the studios controlled it not the producers. A lot of money must have changed hands over that one.

    I agree we indies should go to print as well because the evidence is pretty clear we should but where will the behemoths of publishing be going? Who knows?

    I’m the last one to follow a trend, but we have to watch where the industry and the readers are going and follow which is why print makes so much sense right now.

  21. Frank Dellen says:

    They kind of blow it up in the implications but the raw numbers on piracy leave me convinced that it’s not such a big deal, btw.

    I’ve read about an author recently whining that a friend got an ereader and was given a collection of 300 pirated ebooks from various authors. One of his was among them “and it wasn’t even out as an ebook yet!” Well, there’s your problem, as the meme says.

  22. Jaenii says:

    I think it’s interesting to explore the different flavors of resistance to e-readers. There are folks who swear they’ll never get one. There are folks who have them and don’t use them. And so on. I don’t have one, want one, but can’t make up my mind *which* one to purchase!

    In any case, I do plan to publish a POD version of my novel. Been too busy with a life roll (spouse had open heart surgery last week) to do much more than write my next story (in pinches of time between hospital visits, etc.). Getting a web site up is another task pushed aside by the hospitalization. But I’ll get there. (BTW, the surgery went well, and my husband is recovering at home now.) (Although I have a nasty virus! Hope he does not get it!)

  23. JR I believe bookstore staff recommendations are primarily for gift buying not personal buys. However, I think bookstore staff is also responsible for letting customers know when a popular author has a new book coming out also. Advertising will replace if bookstores continue to close.

    One thing I found interesting listening to writers discuss sales last year was there was a big increase around Christmas which reflects paper sales, but Father’s Day which was the ‘little Christmas’ (second highest bookselling period in the fiscal year) when I worked as a bookseller was actually a low period for most indies. So digital gift giving is still a bit of a hurdle or maybe older males (like Dean [grin]?) just aren’t converting to ereaders.

    One of the interesting statistics to notice is that blogs are a very small percentage of the whole pie especially when you take into consideration the whole pie was well over 100%. Most indies fell hard into the must have book bloggers review books based on, I think, Hocking’s statement that that is what helped her, but especially if you write for an older demographic I think that is wasted energy. It is fun to connect with these book bloggers and if you enjoy it then I’d continue to do it, but I do not think it is necessary.

    • dwsmith says:

      Josephine, not sure if the age is an issue, although, to be honest, I have not seen a study on it. And my personal choice isn’t because this fall I moved 14 full, large truckloads of books and magazines into the new WMG Office complex. (Five of us spent two hours up there last night just shelving hardbacks…great fun.) I love and collect books, but that’s not the reason I don’t read on a device. I don’t read on a Kindle because I can’t handle the flashing. I haven’t bothered to even try to do all the set-up to read books on my iPad. It’s not that I don’t look at books all the time on both devices, just never occurs to me to pick one up to read a book on it when I have so many solid, heavy, and wonderful paper books around me. Just nothing like a comfortable couch, a bag of chips, and the new Patterson Alex Cross hardback novel to make an evening.

  24. “When I was in high school I read Jerry Ahern’s The Survivalist series, and got a wild hair the other day to read them again. Digital list prices on the Kindle editions are $9.99.”

    You’re not the only one. I read about half of them as a kid and a few years back I started buying them used on ebay so I could read them again, typically paying a pound or so ($1.50-ish) plus shipping. Then when I read that they were available as e-books I went looking and was… suprised… by the pricing. I’d guess he’d sell at least twice as many at $4.99 as at $9.99, and I’d fill in the gaps in my collection.

    That said, $9.99 in today’s money is probably about what I paid for the paperbacks in the 80s.

  25. Overall, Dean, I like the data. But I long ago became jaded with surveys. I want to see the questions asked, not just the summary presented. And I suspect the questions are available, I just have to read more clearly. When I get spare time, haha.

  26. Thanks for posting the Verso survey, which I found really interesting. It had some info that was already self-evident to anyone who hasn’t been chained up inside a dark cave all year, but it also had some surprises. Such as resistance to e-readers. Realistically, I know that although some of my friends LOVE their e-readers, others aren’t interested in getting one–and others have an e-reader they’ve used maybe twice all year. And almost all my friends fit into the “avid reader” category, so they ARE reading if “resistant,” they just don’t like e-readers. I thought this was an anomaly, a quirk of me and my friends, but not a wider statistic. Interesting!

    I own an e-reader and like it, but I only use it as a supplement to my reading, and I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future. I primarily still read print books. There are a lot of things about the e-reader I don’t like as well as I like print books; but there are a couple of key ways in which I prefer the e-reader for VERY specific circumstances.

  27. camille says:

    I feel the need to point that that 8-tracks were never king. They were merely cool.

    If you went into a music store at the time they were available, LPs were still predominant. They were beat out by cassettes before LPs waned.

    Still, Russ’ point is still valid about how one medium replaces another.

  28. I wish the statistic about ereader resistance broke it down at least by gender. I know my husband has already stated he would never own one (I had been planning on giving him one for Christmas this past year when he declared this –oops).

    Dean, I get the book thing. I sometimes sit in front of the bookcase that holds my favorite books and just look at them or rearrange them or open some to my favorite passages. And chips and ereaders may not mix as greasy fingers don’t swipe so well (smile).

  29. allynh says:

    Just to point out something, Sony has discontinued producing commercial CDs. Within a few years, CDs, DVDs, even BluRay, all plastic, will be gone. (No more hard drives, everything will be SSD, with a real chance that there will be no blank CDs/DVDs for file backup.) Music and video will be pure download or streaming.

    I’ve stockpiled everything to hold me over during the next five years transition, CDs, DVDs, paper books.

    That’s why I’m simply focusing on writing, publishing, and not on format/device. I’m staying flexible for anything, ’cause I’m the guy who bought Records 78/45/LPs, 8-track, betamax, Slide-rule, TI calculator($100 in college, $1 in the dollar store now buys the same capability), Commodore 64/Atari/Mac 2 Classic/PC/iMac/iPad2, and I still have my 19″ Sony Trinitron, no flat screen LCD/Plasma for me. HA!

    I have an iPad2 to draw with OMG, six buck, software that lets you do this, but that is the only reason I bought it.

    Finger Painting on the Apple iPad from the live model David Kassan

    Now that is finger painting!

    Within five years tablets will be so cheap that when you go to the grocery store there will be a six-pack of tablets by the checkout, along with the batteries. You will buy them to replace the ones you dropped in the tub while reading, or left on the bus. Which is why I am happy to not be an early adopter on the Kindle/Nook, etc… Kindle on my iMac is good enough for checking format.

    So I strongly recommend that everybody keep their work folders organized and updated like Dean has mentioned in his “Think Like A Publisher” series, because in the next five years, with all of the changes going to happen, you will need to publish your books many times in many formats, and you will have to move your stuff to a “device” when your PC/Mac dies, and then all bets are off. HA!

  30. Ramon Terrell says:

    I fall into the category of both. I have a couple of favorite authors I buy in hardcover because I have all their books before ereaders showed up on the scene. I’m not about to continue a saga that spans ten or twenty books by jumping from hardcover to ebook on number seven or eight.

    The exception is writers like Terry Prachett, who have so many, it’s just plain more practical to buy them all in ebook. I love both formats. And as stated by someone above, many folks don’t consider a book to be real unless it’s in paper. I can’t count how many people say ereading isn’t really reading.

    If only people could take the ego out of everything they do and just enjoy the damn book, paper or electronic. *sigh* :)

    • dwsmith says:

      Ramon, yup, an ebook is a real book. No issue there. Just as an audio book is a real book. Or a comic or graphic novel is a real book. They all tell stories.

      Folks, it’s just all personal feelings at the moment. The people who say all reading will be electronic in five years are just silly. Paper books are not going away. The point I hoped I tried to make was that indie writers should not ignore huge parts of their audience, either by going Kindle Select or by not doing POD on most books. That’s my point. With every choice like that the author makes, it takes out readers who have their own preferences. My goal is to have my books available to 100% of available English language readers. That’s my point, nothing more.

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