Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sharing Opinions on Ebooks

A few days ago, I talked a little about ebooks and the effect of the economy on that industry. I solicited a few friends on various loops, asking for their opinions on the topic, and also asked them to share any information they wished on hand-held readers. There are a wide variety available, and hopefully they'll grow in popularity. If only their sales would increase to match the popularity of IPOD and MPG players, on which people download music, I think more and more people would see the advantage of downloading books. Remember the song, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy?" Think, "Save a tree, read an ebook." *VBG*

Here are some of the comments I receive. If I get more, I will share them on another blogging day:

1. As a concerned citizen of Mother Earth, I appreciate the fact that eBooks are a more eco-friendly solution to my voracious appetite for books than the traditional mass market offers. I highly recommend that anyone interested in reducing their impact on the environment consider trying eBooks as one of many alternatives.
--Lisa Logan, multi-published author, editor, and founder of the Green Writing Challenge
Squiddoo.com/greenwriter
Lisa Logan

2. I believe E-books are the future in the publishing world.There's something to be said about not having to fight crowds to shop, but instead, you remain in the comfort of your own home and download the books to read. Plus, if your eyesight is getting weak, it's so much easier to see the words. Most of all, I love the idea of saving trees. Wouldn't it be nice if Earth was known as the 'Happy Green Planet?'
Tabitha Shay

3. I agree that more people will be going to ebooks, but until I can afford an ebook reader I will stick to the print books. I am an avid reader and spends a lot on books. This comment was left on my blog by Joan. Thank you, for your input. I love people who leave comments. :)

4. I'm a huge fan of ebooks and ereaders/ereading. What I like about ebooks:

Instant gratification downloading. You want it now, you get it now. Even beats next day shipping and...I don't have to find room for it on my already crowded ookshelves.
Price of ebook is usually cheaper and there are a lot of legal, free downloads out there (at Baen books and Project Gutenberg). Even the heaviest reader is lighter than most print books (or equal in weight to a single paperback). I'm a fast reader, so love having choice and volume when I'm stuck somewhere.

I own two readers (possibly three when Apple gets the iPhone in line with ereading software). I own a Sony Reader and an Ebookwise. I also had a Palm Treo that just died.

The Sony Reader is amazing. The screen is so crisp, I forget I'm not reading a paper book and reach up to turn the page. It's light weight and sassy. I have 84 books loaded onto it right now. I can organize the books into collections, and it keeps track of my place in multiple books. When I turn it on, reminds me which book I was reading when I shut down. It is possible to jump around in a book with the SR, but I haven't got that function figured out that well. Downloading is easy and done through a computer. My son has used it for in tub reading by tucking it in a zip lock bag.

The Ebookwise is also dear to me. The screen isn't as crisp, more like reading on a computer screen, but the text sizes quickly and easily and I can jump around in the book very easily. No learning curve. Downloading is quick and easy--can be done on the computer or through a phone line.

I've also been known to read on my desktop and laptop, using Mobipocket Reader and Adobe Digital Editions (not my favorite because I can't upload them to my SR, even though it will read pdfs.).

Basically, I check FIRST for a digital edition of a book, then decide whether I want to mess with a print book.
Pauline Baird Jones

5. I love ebooks. I read them on my Dell PDA at night in bed or during blackouts. LOL. In the day time, I read paperbacks in my hot tub. If I have an appointment I take my PDA with me and read it in the waiting room.

I think I like reading ebooks best. I'm not into clutter and shelves or stacks books gathering dust.
Ashlyn Chase

6. I have a love hate relationship with ebooks!!! I own a Palm PDA and do not love reading ebooks on it although I do when I travel if I don't have my laptop with me... I read ebooks on either my PS or laptop and am fine with that. Hehehe I find I can multi task while I'm reading on the computer...you should see how many windows I
have opened at one time on my system...

For me, ebooks will never completely replace the printed book...there is still something to be said for holding the "real" book in your hands...the feel, the smell...whatever it is. BUT ebooks are convenient and do require a WHOLE lot less space to store. I generally trade away most paper books because I don't have the room to keep them. An ebook I can keep forever (as long as I back up my harddrive...).

And this brings me to my next point...this one an author may not like but for a reader I think you will understand. A print book holds more value as I can trade it for another book when I am through, so if I pay $6.99 for a new book I can get most of it's value back by trading it with someone for another book. If I pay the same $6.99 for the book in an ebook format, that is it... I can't trade it, loan it to someone or do anything with it but store it. The majority of books I read I will
never read again (there are just too many new books coming out constantly to have time to reread one). I am more likely to try a new author or different genre by getting a used book then I am to pay full price for a book I'm not certain of.
This comment was supplied by Stevi.

NOTE FROM ME: Stevi, I appreciate your candid opinion. I used to be a frequent flyer at the local used book store. My mother uses one weekly and is not open to the idea of reading anything but good old paperbacks. She's that 'old dog' you keep hearing about who doesn't want to learn any new tricks. It's nice to have options. :)

7. I don't have a website, blog or myspace, but I thought I'd put my 2 cents in.I love the convenience of ebooks. buying an ebook means I can read it immediately even if it's 2 am.I live 25 miles from the nearest Walden books and with gas prices the way they are, it's easier and cheaper to read ebooks. Also I get a much larger variety of books that way. I love paranormal romances, and there is much more to choose from on the internet. The only problem I see is the chance of losing all your ebooks if your computer crashes, but I have an external hard drive that I save all my books, music and important documents to.

I have an ebook reader that I use all the time. It's an Ebookwise. I love it. The Sony and Kindle ebook readers are great, but the Ebookwise is much more affordable. You can get one from ebay for $124.00. It doesn't take long to charge and it has a backlight. You can also buy larger memory cards. The ebookwise website has a page where you can add personal content to your bookshelf. It won't read PDF files, but I save my pdf files to text and then use the personal content page to add the books. There are alot of public domain books available for free.I've includes a link to the ebay site. I've bought 2 from him and would recommend
him to anyone.also Here is a link to the Ebookwise info page. - Submitted by Charlene Coyle. (Thank you for your input, Char.)
Ebay Link

8. First let me tell you that my friends and I love ebook and our readers. I have not only the older Sony Reader but also the eReader that I purchased from eBookwise.com. I love them both. Two of my ex co-workers both have the Sony Reader and love it. (I decided to take an early retirement)

I have over 100 ebooks AND the most recent one that I purchased was The Countess Takes A Lover by Bonnie Dee. I find myself buying ebooks from blurbs that authors post on a couple of yahoo groups that I belong to.

I go in spurts using my readers.....I usually take one of my two readers when I go on vacation or for long rides. I love it when going on vacation I don't have to worry about did I pack enough books and I have more space in my luggage to bring home souvenirs.

My only problem is --- I wish both readers would take PDF formats....I have to convert PDF books to Rich Text format in order to read them on either reader.

I think with Amazon coming out with the Kindle that it has increase the interest in the this market. I received an email the other day and it looks like the next iPhone that comes out you will be able to download books on them. I'm so excited.
Danielle

9. I’ve always been a believer, if you can save paper (a tree) then do it! An interesting thing I will share; I went to the health food store here in Helena, Montana, and asked the clerk if she liked reading ‘suspense’ or ‘Indian historicals.’ Since she said yes, I handed her a postcard and a couple business cards (with my book cover on one side … to share with her friends). I told her they were ‘e-book’s, therefore, saving a tree or two! She was delighted! Asked if she could have postcards to post on the bulleting board.
Rita Karnopp

10. I get very frustrated with people when they insist on saying, "I hate reading on my computer." But what are they doing while answering their emails or writing letters etc? I haven't read a paper book in so long I've forgotten the last time I did. I still buy my own books in print because I have relatives who refuse to own a computer (Strange people!) and some friends who belong to the group mentioned above. How much simpler can it be than to log on any time day or night, go to your favorite ebook seller, be it the publisher or fictionwise etc, and choose a book that can be on your computer in just the format you need within minutes?
I have an ebookwise reader and after my computer, it is my most treasured possession. I buy my ebooks in text format so I can enlarge the print as much as I like before I transfer it to my reader, have a back light so there's no need to have a bright light overhead, can carry as many books around with me as I please when I travel. All this for a very reasonable cost.
Love ebooks and my only concern and complaint is that here in Australia I can't seem to find an ebook reader distributor and had to rely on an American friend to buy my ebookwise reader for me and ship it over.
Tricia McGill

11. In my opinion, the great achievement of Ebooks is that they've opened up opportunity for both readers and authors. I have been accepted and published within 6 months, an achievement I'd never have made with traditional print routes.

I read many more ebooks than print now, too. The advantages to me are that they are quick and easy and flexible. I don't have a PDA but read on computer screen. This suits me at work in lunch hours, and at my laptop when I want to be distracted! I can dip in and out at whim. They're cheap, immediately available and don't take up half my lounge in shelf space.

The other huge advantage I see is that it's opened up the erotica markets in which I personally write. I doubt that readers' tastes have changed over the years, but their ability to access more edgy/controversial/niche material has. So has the opportunity for authors in these markets. You can download an erotica book in seconds, in complete privacy and without being embarrassed in the middle of a bookstore by a cover that's often very explicit!

To me, the DISadvantage is the other side of the Advantages coin: the range of fiction is still relatively limited, many people don't want to or can't spend long periods of time reading from a screen, and the quantity of new authors quickly and readily available isn't always a measure of quality.

In conclusion, I see ebooks still as another option rather than an alternative. Maybe they always will be. But anything that brings more books into the market and encourages more reading has to be a good thing!
Clare London


Whew! That was quite a great response. Don't discredit responses because the person happens to be an author. Like me, I'm sure they were readers long before they started to write. Please check out each link and meet a new friend. If I receive more responses, I'll certainly share them in another blog. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Oh, by the way, I have a Franklin ebook reader, and I love it. I take whenever I know I'm going to be sitting with nothing to do. Besides reading, I can also jot down ideas for new stories that might pop into my mind. I love showing it to people who haven't a clue all the things it can do. It doesn't just read ebooks, it's my calendar, address book, my 'to do' list, and I can also download the daily news if I feel the need to be more depressed. *lol*

3 comments:

Rachel said...

I have mixed feelings about e-books. I have only just recently purchased my first one to read in pdf format. I guess I would need a reader, but a Kindle is a bit out of my budget at the moment. LOL

I wonder how the ebook trade will impact authors and the money that they make. Though I am glad because they lessen the impact to the environment.

Found you on the CataNetwork today. :)

ddurance said...

Enter me in the contest!

As a library employee, I certainly hope that ebooks don't take over, but I do see them as the future of books. I love one that I can hold in my hands though and I like my job so I hope print books stay around.

Deidre

Estella said...

I have a lot of ebooks saved on my computer. As a retired senior citizen, an ebook reader is way beyond my budget. Sitting at the computer to read, for any length of time, is hard on the old back and neck.
I realize that e books are better for the environment, but it sure is nice to curl up on the couch with a paperback.

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