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Real Books Are Back in Fashion

October 16th, 2015

Bookstore-Indie-blogFirst, thanks to Jan for last week’s blog. She provided it a little earlier than expected – so apologies for not mentioning that she would be my guest in my previous post. I hope it encouraged you all to enter our Short Story Competition. If it gave you the nudge that you need, don’t forget that the closing date is 30th November!

I was interested to read that Waterstones are to stop stocking Kindle e-readers. There was much made in the article about the resurgence of proper, paper books. Apparently, sales rose 3% in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period the previous year. This is the first time it’s happened since 2012. However, in the same period the sale of e-books rose by 2%. So what do you make of that?

I’m glad to hear that physical books are ‘making a come-back’, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. When the Kindle was first introduced most people still had laptops or small phones. If you wanted a half-decent reading experience you had to buy a dedicated e-reader. Since then, however, phones have got bigger and tablets have become ubiquitous, so there’s no need for an additional device on which to read your books. People are still choosing e-books but they’re reading them differently.

The other thing that might be causing a bounce-back for paper books is pricing. I look in the kindle store and it irritates me when I’m expected to pay as much for an e-book as for a paperback. If I’m going to pay the same then I always choose the paperback. I can hold it, I can spill coffee on it, I can pass it on to my son/sister/friend or I can donate it to charity when I’ve finished it so that someone else can enjoy it!

But the fact that so many of the ‘classics’ are now out of copyright and can be obtained free as e-books is certainly a big plus. I’ve been re-reading many of the books that I had to plough through at university, and this time round I’ve enjoyed them much more.  I find a judicious mix of bookshops, the local library and e-books provides convenience but also great value for money; so I won’t be dumping my Kindle just yet!

And still on the subject of e-books, have you noticed that some companies are now publishing digitally first (usually at a reasonable price) to encourage a following for a new author? They then bring out the book as a paperback six months later if the results have been encouraging.  This is the exact opposite of the old system where a book usually came out as a hardback, followed by a paperback and finally as an e-book.

This provides a great way for a small publisher to dip their feet in the water and give new authors a chance without racking-up huge cost.  But remember that no publisher wants a one-hit wonder. So, when you sit down to write your 200,000-word blockbuster, seriously consider whether, instead,  you should be writing a 70,000-word novel that could sell for £1.99 or £2.99 followed by a couple of sequels at the same price that your audience (if you’ve done your stuff right in the first book) will be panting to buy!

And finally, if you are working on that novel, have a look at Microsoft OneNote. You can use it to capture thoughts, ideas and facts, clip web pages, save relevant photos – and you can share them with other people. Best of all, you can get it free on any of your devices!

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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