Friday, March 22, 2013

From the Mail Bag - A Pissed Off Reader

Yesterday in my e-mail I received a note from a reader who told me bluntly that she was never going to read my books again or promote me to other readers as she has done in the past. The reason: she'd gone to her local Barnes and Noble to purchase THE SILENT GHOST, my first Granny Apples novella, and was told by the clerk that it was not in print, that it was for e-readers only. She also assumed that because of this all my future books would also be released only in a digital format.

This is not the first time a reader has been disappointed over this or made that same assumption, but it was the first time a reader told me in so many words that I was on her shit list.

Here's the thing, people:

1) That was my publisher's decision, not mine, so don't drag me behind your pickup truck over a gravel road because of it;

2) THE SILENT GHOST is a novella, only about 100 pages in length, so to produce it in print would not be cost effective (see #1 above);

3) Please do not assume all future books will be digital because of this. My 4th full-length Granny Apples novella will be out in print and in e-book in April 2014.  My next Odelia Grey book will be released in December also in print and in digital.

4) Digital books are here to stay. And I believe print books will always be with us even if they become more difficult to find.  Think records/CDs over digital downloads. I still buy CDs myself.

5) If you don't own an e-reader and want to read an e-book, you can down load a FREE app from either Kindle or Nook to your computer, smart phone, or tablet, so you are not being discriminated against.

6) As for independent authors, many are choosing to go only digital now or to release limited print runs along with their e-books. But these books will also not be found in your local book store. That doesn't mean they are not worth discovering.

7) Generally, authors make more money in digital sales because the quantity sold is much larger. At least I do and I know I'm not alone. My books are now reaching thousands of readers all over the world because of the digital format. So don't beat up an author because she wants to be paid for her hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of hard work.  To do so is (dare I say it?) selfish.

I love books. I also love my Kindle. I buy and read both digital and print books.

Can't we all just get along on this?


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I read both too. Good explanation.

Alan Orloff said...

Well put, Sue Ann. The story's the story, no matter how it's delivered.

flash29 said...

There are lots of books out there. I don't have the money or space to buy and store all the ones I want. But I do buy many of the ebook only releases - they're unique and they're inexpensive.

There's also the Kobo app (but I find it harder to navigate than the Kindle and iBooks apps). And there's the iBooks app - I prefer it to the Kindle app because I can create shelves.

Maryanne Birch said...

I agree eBooks are here to stay. It does not matter if a person likes it there are tons of Authors that are still in print. Lots of Authors also print free content in eBook format to give there loyal fans extra reading material. I don't think its fair to brow beat an Author because a book is released in eBook format. Also because of eBooks blacklists are back again. Publishers are cutting back because of cost eBooks are cheaper to produce and store. OH well its only one reader we still love you.

Kate Thornton said...

Oh, for heaven's sake - who would bother to bitch and moan to an author before doing their homework? Sigh. I'm old, Sue Ann - I have far less patience than you! It was a very lovely reply - my admiration for your work - and your beautiful self - continues unabated.

Marinelle said...

And what's just as bad? I read a review of a book in which the reader gave the book ZERO stars because she had trouble with the download process! Can we all say stupid? I too read digital and print and have to confess my choice of format is largely price driven. And it does save space to load Nook, Kindle, Kobo and IBooks on my tablet and "order at will".

Mark Baker said...

I haven't made the leap to digital books, although I've read a few here and there. And I also still have cassette tapes I listen to in my car, so that shows you what kind of dinosaur I am.

But I don't begrudge authors for making the leap/doing both/whatever. As you said, there are ways I can still read and enjoy if I feel it is worth the effort. And if I don't? Well, there are plenty of books I've bought I haven't read yet, so it's not like I'm sitting around with nothing to do.

(For the record? Your books are worth any extra effort on my part. Don't worry.)

Sarah said...

Sue Anne,
I love your books and I agree 100% well put; I too read both hard back and digital books.
Rest assured I tell people about your books all the time so because one person doesn’t understand the economics of going digital there are plenty of us that do. I am getting ready to publish my first book and because of the economics of it I am going digital only it is sad, that there are people that will not discover, that there are a lot of digital Authors out there.
Keep up the great work I love your books.

Sarah Marie

Ellen said...

I'm late to this issue but wanted to add. I read both but am starting to prefer my e-reader. First I'm not one for delayed gratification - I love that you can hear of a book one moment & be reading it the next. I have been treated to many new authors by being able to sample without making the purchase. if I like I down load the rest, if I don't I'm not stuck with clutter. Right now I have a huge summer project of gathering all my stashes (piles of books) and figuring out how to organize & what to do with them.