I received the following letter in my inbox from L. awhile ago, lost it, found it, and can’t believe I didn’t post it earlier. This rules.
Dear anyone who wants to read this:
Thank you for making digital books available. As a voracious reader with insomniac tendencies, THANK YOU.
Nora Roberts: I would probably have never bought a single book if they weren’t available in digital format. I’m not a “romance reader.” BUT. Your J. D. Robb books aren’t straight up contemporary romance. And I keep seeing their titles bandied about here, there, and yonder. So a couple of months ago, jonesing for a good read, I thought, “I’ll give Ms. Roberts a try.” And it was simple. My impulsive 1 am decision did not require me to go to a bookstore with two kids under age six in tow.
I’m on book seven.
Ilona Andrews: Holy crap. I LOVE your Kate Daniels books. I’ve found them via “readers who bought THIS also bought THIS” on Amazon. Because I got a Kindle for my birthday last September. And while Amazon is the devil, they are also a hell of a marketing team and I can buy books at 2:00am and start reading at 2:01. Digital or print, I WILL be buying the next one in May.
Courtney Milan: Never would have read a word if I were still a brick and mortar exclusive shopper. I saw your name at PubRants and here and thought, “Hey, that’s some pretty good street cred. I’d like to read something new. What the heck?” I loved Proof by Seduction. Again, I don’t consider myself a straight up romance reader. There is a probablility of -.003 I would have bought this book browsing in a brick and mortar store.
Gail Carriger: Bought Soulless on a whim, facing a cross country flight armed only with my Kindle. I claim personal responsibility for no less than five more (digital) copies being consumed and adored by readers I know.
The titles/authors cited here are a sampling of the orgy of book buying I have engaged in since I got my Kindle 6 months ago. There is NO BARRIER between me and the impulse buy. The only books I have to think about require a trip to a bookstore or shipping. I was already researching online before one of the very treasured visits to a physical bookstore. What if. What IF. What if I never get to a bookstore again in my whole life? That won’t happen because I love bookstores. But in the last six months, I’ve bought fifty books. This vastly outstrips my previous buying habits, which were limited by my ability to get to a bookseller and browse.
The sky is not falling by raining digital books. We want them, we love them, we’re ready for them. There will be more of us. eReaders will get cheaper and more of us will have them. Please, publishing houses, Amazon, B&N, Apple, and whoever else. Please. Just figure it out. We’ll pay for the books. Just make them available. And after that, make them quality.
Random Middle America Book Girl (Read: your target market.)