Print or Ebook? That’s a lot like asking chocolate or vanilla. Fortunately, there’s an easy answer. “Yes, please!” There are obvious pros and cons to each, which vary depending on your point of view as a reader or a writer—or both.
I love my Kindle. I can hold a couple hundred novels in the palm of my hand at one time. It fits in my purse. It’s lightweight, a nice feature when I’m reading in bed, fall asleep, and drop it. Ever drop one of Mr. King’s 800 page whoopers on your nose? I appreciate the price of most ebooks, not to mention the plethora of free ebooks that are available. I can load my Kindle to the max and pay nothing. Everything from old classics to new writers trying to garner fans by giving their words away. Pretty nice for a reader. Different case when I think about it as an author.
For a writer, ebooks can reach a wider market, especially among the younger generation, gadget lovers, and those denizens of the digital world. Publication is less expensive and saves trees. It’s easier to email a PDF for reviews rather than mailing a book. Saves on gas, too (especially if your post office is as far away as mine is). There’s no denying the ebook’s ability to draw in new readers through convenience and low cost.
However, pirating of ebooks is an ongoing issue. It’s hard to get an ebook into stores and gift shops. And book signings? Probably not going to happen. I haven’t tried signing an ebook. I suppose I could sign business cards or coupons for an ebook, but as reader, a signed copy that means a book. Ebooks can certainly boost the sales of print editions. When I find an ebook that means something to me, something worthy of shelf space, I’ll buy a print edition.
I was over the top when my first novel, Courageous Cain, was published by Champagne Books as an ebook. My friends and family were thrilled for me. But many of the older ones, those who balk at the thought of a Kindle, not so much. Sure, they were happy about it, but they had to wait a year for the print edition to come out. Then they started calling me ‘author’ instead of ‘writer.’ This may not be a big deal to some authors and I understand that. But it was to me because these people are some of the most important ones in my life.
From a writer’s perspective, reading my own book on my Kindle was a trip and so much fun. But when I held that first print copy in my hands—the slick covers, the smell of the pages, its weight and dimension—I felt like an author, more than I did with the ebook.
The people closest to the writer, those who stood with them through the trials of writing and editing, the lows of rejection, and the highs of that first contract, will want signed copies to cherish and show off at every opportunity. Try that with an ebook. A Kindle sitting on a shelf doesn’t quite measure up to the unequalled thrill of seeing your own book on the shelf, sharing the living room like one of the family.
Ebook or print? Yes, please! There’s a definite place for both and both is what it takes to reach all of your readers and gain new ones.
About DJ Davis
DJ Davis is a Colorado native and the rugged high country sets the scene for her stories. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, photographing the wildlife, or camping with her husband. A Great Dane runs her life.
A portion of each sale of her novel "Courageous Cain" will be donated to Big Bones Canine Rescue in Windsor, Colorado. Help us help big dogs in need.
Visit DJ's website for more info!