If you get your books digital…
Gimme an E or I’ll…
OK, clearly my cold-medicine addled brain is not going to come up with something clever, but a recent kerfuffle online has revealed a rather interesting facet of the eBook revolution: once a devoted, glomming reader (such as myself) is introduced to the power and ease of the eBook, going back to paper is not as satisfactory.
It’s true. I know there are some die-hard paper-lovin’ folks out there, and I’m not knocking your preference, but I know that once I got hooked on having the Kindle-Ade with me all the time, with unlimited books at my fingertips, to say nothing of the wirelessly connected bookstore, carrying around a paper book seems so… heavy. And limiting.
Seems I’m not the only one who got herself hooked on the savvy, sexy ease of the e and wants more more more: Chris Meadows at the Teleread blog gives a synopsis of a kerfuffle at Tor‘s site/blog. Tor hyped the launch of their upcoming site with free ebooks. Oh, delicious free ebooks, how I love thee.
Trouble is, when Tor launched their new site, there weren’t ebooks for sale. Some are available for the Kindle, but not all. The free books Tor had offered were often the first of a series, and there were a few vocal readers who were upset because they’d had a gulp of the sexy, sultry beverage that is ebooks, and they wanted to read the rest of the series in digital form. Tor doesn’t have much in the way of ebook offerings for those series, and folks are much disgruntled. Meadows’ gripe with Tor rests partially on frustration with Tor’s decision to pimp the ebooks without having the follow up novels ready in digital form, and partially on his personal frustration with Tor’s response to the online complaints.
It looks like Tor generated a heaping pile of interest in its ebooks, and at present isn’t able to fulfill the demand of that interest. Tor gave away ebooks to generate interest in their site and while plenty of the comments at that thread are thankful and giddy over the new books and new authors and new reading material oh glee, plenty more are not as into the idea of a new site as they are into the idea of the next book in the series in digital form… which isn’t necessarily available. So customers who sampled the series and are content with paper are happy. Customers who sampled the series and are curious about the publisher’s blog-format website are happy. But customers who sampled a series as an ebook and want to continue reading digitally are not happy. Commence comment flaming, general use of exclamation points and italics, requests that folks get thicker skin, and rogue flouncing.
Kerfuffle aside, I’m curious as to whether it’s a relatively small phenomenon, this cracktastic element to the ebook. Have you made the switch? Do you want all publishers to issue ebooks (oh, behold the wisdom of the Harlequin. Tor, seriously, take a look at the Harlequin. Take a goooood loooooong digital look. All books digital = MAJOR YUM of AWESOME SAUCE. Srsly.) and are they your preferred media for reading material?