Friday, September 23, 2011

Editorial and Request by Moira Allen

Today, I’d like to share an editorial and a request from Moira Allen of  Please take a moment to respond to her survey which is linked at the end of the article.

E-Books ReKindled

The dinosaur (aka your beloved editor) has a confession to make: I
have finally bought a Kindle.  And... OK, I admit it.  I love it.

I rationalized buying a Kindle on the basis that, if my books were
being published on Kindle, I wanted to be able to see how they were
turning out.  I didn't really plan to USE it.  Much.  I then
discovered Amazon's array of free Kindle books -- primarily older
books that are now in the public domain.  Well, I happen to enjoy
G.K. Chesterton -- so what a delight to find that I could now get
just about every Chesterton book out there, for free, and load them
onto my Kindle instead of my bookshelf.  And then I discovered the
Scrabble game...

So...  Does this mean I'm a Kindle convert?  Yes and no.  I am
delighted to be able to get FREE books.  I'm not so thrilled about
the prices being asked for "regular" books -- such as the latest
bestsellers.  If I have to choose between paying $7 or $8 for a
Kindle edition or a "real" book, I'll buy the real book every time.
 But having a Kindle now makes it feasible and downright
comfortable to read ELECTRONIC books -- such as books downloaded
from Project Gutenberg.  In the past, I'd sometimes go so far as to
convert an electronic edition from Gutenberg into a Lulu book just
so that I could read it more comfortably.  Now, I don't have to.

However, that's not why I'm writing this particular editorial.
Granted, buying a Kindle for myself has helped me to understand why
this e-reader HAS become so popular -- and I am willing to concede
that its popularity is deserved.  But what really came as an
eye-opener this past month was not "Gee, I like my Kindle," or
"Gee, I see that Kindle is really taking off."

It was... Gee, I'm selling MORE copies of my book for Kindle than
in print.

Last fall, I talked with my POD publisher, DogEar, about issuing a
Kindle edition of "Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet."
(Technically, we issued an "electronic" edition that can be used on
multiple platforms, but since Kindle dominates the e-reader market,
I'll stick to talking about Kindle.)  This spring, I began to
notice that my monthly royalty check was showing higher and higher
numbers for "electronic sales."  When I checked my author sales
page, I discovered that this year, I've sold only ten more print
books than e-books to date.  That's just for the year "as a whole,"
however.  Even more significant is the fact that the ratio is
steadily shifting toward e-books; in May, I sold twice as many
e-books as print books. 

That leads me to conclude that it is about time
started to address the Kindle phenomenon, because at a sales ratio
of two to one, this is a market that writers cannot afford to
ignore.  As writers, we need to know where our readers are -- and
it seems that a great many of our readers are on the couch with
their Kindles. 

That phrase, "on the couch," is key.  People have been proclaiming
the "age of the e-book" practically from the dawn of the Internet.
The day would come, we have been told (for more than ten years now)
when print is obsolete and everyone will be reading e-books.  But
the great downside of e-books has always been the problem of having
to read them on your computer.  Some folks have never had a problem
with this; the majority of readers, however, still preferred to
curl up COMFORTABLY with a good book -- on the sofa, on a chair, on
the lawn, by the beach, in the pool, in a plane.  (Well,
semi-comfortably...)  The Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad have at
last brought together these two worlds: e-books and the couch. 

So to get started, I'd like to find out more about YOUR experiences
with the Kindle -- as a reader, as a writer, or both.  (Again,
while I realize there are other devices out there, the Kindle
dominates the market, so for writers, it's going to command the
largest share of our would-be readers.)  I've created a survey with
questions for Kindle readers, would-be readers and avoiders, and
for writers who have already published or are considering
publishing on Kindle.  The survey has a total of 22 questions, but
most will find only 10 to 15 applicable. 

I'd greatly appreciate your help in learning more about how writers
AND readers are approaching, and responding to, the Kindle.  The
survey is completely confidential, but if you are willing to be
quoted, you will have the option of entering your name in the text
boxes. To complete the survey, please go to:

I'm looking forward to your responses!

-- Moira Allen, Editor

Writing World is a publication of

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (


  1. I love my Kobo. I've put my two published novels on it and even imagine my readers enjoying them.

    Because of my Kobo, I finally read War and Peace. Who knew it was such an awesome story.

    And now with the release of my first suspense thriller coming out as an ebook next month, I'm researching marketing avenues available offline and on for ebooks.

    Yet, my heart still favours hardcovers. I love the smell, the feel, the experience of holding the book in my hands. There's something comforting about laying the novel on the coffee table, knowing it's waiting for me to find time to read.

    And then when I pick it up, open to where my bookmark is, I'm welcomed with this wonderful feeling because I can see how far I've gone and how much more I have to read.

    Once I'm 1/8th of an inch from the end, I slow down because I don't want to say goodbye to these endearing, incredible characters.

    Next month we'll fly across the country to see our newest grandchild. I'll take my Kobo with me on the plane and probably feel very grateful to have it.

    Great post, Moira. Hi, Penny.

  2. Joylene, thank you for your detailed comments. I will be sure to pass them along to Moira. I hope you had time to do her survey as well.

  3. Hello! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I'm at
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Nelson, thanks for stopping in. I do hope you come back. There is always something of interest posted for writers. I'll check out your blog, too.