Monday, December 27, 2010


Baby, it's cold outside!
Brrrr! Winter is here! No snow, but cold wind to rosy your cheeks and chase you indoors. What do you do on cold winter days?

By Jodi Thomas
My favorite thing to do on a cold day is curl up with a good book. In fact, that's what I did yesterday. A luxurious, self-indulgent day sitting in my favorite chair, covered with my favorite throw, and reading a favorite author's new book. What could be better on a cold day?  I read Jodi Thomas’ SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, which I received as a stocking gift from Santa. This book continues the Harmony series on which I am so hooked. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series. 

By Cindy Sample
On my Kindle, I had just finished DYING FOR A DATE by Cindy Sample (recommended by my friend Bobbye Terry). This is a well-written cozy mystery with plenty of humor and a good puzzle. I didn't know who the killer was until way near the end. Fooling other writers is hard because we know the rules, but Cindy Sample pulled it off and offered an entertaining read as well.

This brings me to my Monday Musings topic. WILL E-BOOKS REPLACE BOOKS IN PRINT? In my opinion, it will not occur in our lifetime. Maybe. Probably. Certainly I hope not!

I love my new Kindle, but . . .
 E-books are ecologically sound, and an e-reader can hold dozens, even hundreds, of books on one small device. Electronic books are less expensive to produce, and are much faster through the editing and publishing process. The drawback to them is that they are so easy to publish, some that are not up to publishing quality reach the market. These badly written books create a poor reputation for all electronic publishing. My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has wonderful editors who take their jobs seriously. I’ve started books from other sources, though, that I simply could not finish. They aren’t true wall bangers, since I’m not throwing my Kindle against the wall, but they are quickly deleted from my files.

Curl up with a good book
For those of us old enough to have grown up reading a print book, nothing replaces the feel of a book in our hands. I love thumbing through a research book. This usually leads to locating interesting material for a book down the line. In fact, I simply love books. Our home is filled with bookshelves filled with fiction and non-fiction books. Are these print books going the same way as the dinosaur? Will our heirs sell them as rare collections or will they go to a land fill?

Thing of the past?
 I hate to think of future libraries as a building filled with only computers! One exclusive private school in Dallas has replaced the library with 48 computers. The only books are in a tiny room labeled Antique Library. Shudder!  What a sad commentary on the future of libraries.

I limit my Kindle reading to those books I plan to read only once. Yes, I do reread many of my favorite books. Those authors whose books I plan to save, I buy in print. Makes sense to me, and I hope it does for other readers as well.  Perhaps both print and e-books will continue to be companion media for the future.

Pick your form of reading material, but please keep reading! Authors need more than royalties. We need to know that readers are enjoying our books. While I would write if no one but my family read my books, my goal is to bring escapism, hope, and pleasure to many, many readers through my writing.

Please return on Wednesday for an interview with Sybil Baker.


Vince said...

Hi Caroline:

The print book will die in the not too distant future. Old technology tends to hang on for years and then it goes into extinction. Gas lights were their very best as electric lighting was being introduced. Typewriters lasted almost 20 years along side the PC. So print books will hold out for a few more years.

It’s not that people want the print book to die. It will die because of pure economics. Ebook Readers will come down in price to about $10. In many cases the reader and the book will be sold as one. This is like the box of film that because a camera.

What will the publishing world be like when eBook readers are just $10? (These will not be wireless. Books will have to be uploaded from a computer.) What will schools do for text books? Imagine: no update problems, no inventory, no warehousing, no shipping, no obsolete books to dispose of! No big book-bag sacks that can hide bad things!

I predict that most textbooks will be free. These will be commissioned by philanthropic organizations who will hire the best authors. No publishing costs! No shipping! No inventory! Available for free! I’d think about selling stock in textbook publishers.

And what about the tsunami of backlist books that will soon hit the markets in force. Old books that look the same as new books that are available at lower prices. If you like an author, after reading one of her books, you’ll be able to buy any of her other backlist books.

The real marketing battle in the future is going to be for the little time per day a reader has available to read books. More than ever, the future will be driven by developing your own market and then writing many books that pleases that market! It will be called ‘electronic farming’! Just wait and see. What force can stop this?


Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

Actually, your immediate heirs will likely fight over your books because so many of them are really interesting. I wonder, though, about people who are used to "writing" 140 character messages and consider a whole paragraph too much to read.

Vince said...

Hi Stephanie:

Probably all books will be rendered digital before too long. I expect there will be anthropologists who will seek out books (that have not made it into the Library of Congress) to save them as if they were primitive languages with only one remaining native speaker left alive. The goal will be to save everything ever published because it might be important to some future academic (just as some meaningless plant or fish might provide a cure for cancer).

Also there will be a booming business for writers who can translate standard English into Twitter or text massage talk. Instead of ‘speed reading’ classes there will be ‘length reading’ classes which will teach how to understand thoughts that are expressed in full sentences.

This is a great time to be a writer who is into “World Building”!


P.S. Print books will all be banned and burned because they cannot be edited in real time to reflect the current PC truths. Print books by their very nature will be considered subversive.

Bobbye Terry said...

I agree with you Caroline, that I read books I love over and over. That being said, I read faster and with less work on my Kindle. So, for most reading it is easier, and I don't have to worry about where I keep the book. I love both and doubt I'll give up the hard copies I have until someone pries them out of my cold lifeless hands.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Vince, I suspect you're correct, but hope you're wrong. Already reading levels are dropping. Another thing missing is parents reading to their children--an educational program on TV is not the same as cuddling a child and reading from a book. One on one contact is being replaced by cyber contacts. As in, I have Facebook friends but don't have time to have dinner with a real friend because I have to text--and if I do dine out wiht someone we don't talk because we're both checking our phones for texts or calling someone. Don't get me started. Ooops, you already did. LOL