Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What's Your Answer? Today's Topic - Printed Books

This month's topic is printed books. As usual, I have some questions, which I'll answer and then it's your turn. Choose one or more of them and share your opinion. If you're only answering one, please expand. If more, please shorten. Also, only include one website URL or blog link.

Questions:

Are printed books obsolete?
The new wave appears to be e-books, yet I have tons of friends and relatives who still prefer sitting down and turning the pages on what they call "real" books. I must admit being drawn to the covers of printed books when I'm shopping at Wal-Mart or even Osco. Some are so pretty I'm almost tempted to buy them, but I refrain. I can get a much better bargain buying a Kindle book. Also, my Kindle 3 and Kindle Touch are easier on the eyes.

Do you buy paperbacks, hardcovers, both, or none printed?
I usually buy paperbacks, either trade or smaller sized when they're written and autographed by close author friends. Otherwise, I go for the Kindle version. Sometimes, though, to support a friend I'll buy the paperback version as well as the Kindle one.

I don't buy hardcovers unless at -- okay, I'll admit it -- library book sales.

If you were buying a printed book, would it matter to you if it were offered by an indie publisher or a traditional publisher?

Since I don't buy many printed books, except those from author friends, I'll just say what I used to do when  considering a paperback purchase. Like many readers, I would check out the cover, next the back page blurbs, and lastly the first page of the book. If I liked what I saw, then I'd buy it.

The publisher never entered into my choice.

What About You? Please use the comment section below to answer one or more the questions. 
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Morgan Mandel has contributed two short stories to The Corner Cafe: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories, available at Amazon.com

Morgan's other works include four full length novels: the thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, the romantic suspense, Killer Career, the romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams, and the mystery, Two Wrongs.

Twitter: @MorganMandel


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32 comments :

  1. Buying a real book vs E-book.
    I love books, real books, and would choose a printed book over an e-book any day. However, because I live in South Africa, the import duty on a book purchased from Amazon costs as much as the book itself. This means I am 'forced' to purchase an e-book if I really want a particular product. In that case, I generally choose non-fiction books about writing and publishing as my e-choices.

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  2. I hope printed books won't disappear.I read a lot of nonfiction and always prefer the printed versions for this type of reading.As a fair number of readers report, my thinking and reflection process feels different when I sit with a printed book in my hands and I would really regret losing that experience. Almost all the books I buy are softcover now. I appreciate hardcover copies but would need a particular reason to justify the expense.As to e-books,I have a Kindle and an iPad and use them both often for light or escapist reading. I have downloaded some nonfiction books but have found myself reluctant to read them as epubs. Interesting. As to a preference for indie or traditional publishers, speaking as a reader I go where the writer I want to read is, without prejudice on my part. I do especially appreciate indies, however, because of the much wider doors they open to more writers.

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  3. Speaking of printed matter, I still print out important emails or pages on sites as reference for myself.

    Unfortunately, I'm not always organized enough to find those important printed documents when I need them.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

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  4. I still read printed books, but not very often. I prefer ebooks. To me, they're so much easier to read and to carry around. I'm about to leave on a trip and I can slip twenty books into my briefcase via my iPad. I think there will be a time when print books will be in museums, but it'll be long after I'm gone.

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  5. I confess. I'm a bookaholic - in all forms. My Kindle is loaded (over 100 titles) and my bookshelves are groaning. I haven't seen my nightstand in years. I, too, collect printed ones signed by friends and people I meet at conferences. I read voraciously, but I can't seem to make a dent in the growing piles. It's a joyous addiction!

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  6. I have mostly printed books, many bought before ebooks were readily available. I wish more reference books were available as ebooks because specifics are easier to find through electronic search than trying to remember where a particular nugget of info might lie. I use Google book search on my print library! I am switching to ebooks for my fiction as well, although I don't think we're at the final ebook format as yet. Print books are durable and have been around for centuries. I own a very few that were printed over a 100 years ago. I wonder how many ebooks published today will be available in the same format 100 years from now.

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  7. Yes to printed books. This might change once I purchase an e-reader, but right now they still freak me out a little bit.

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  8. Like Lorna, I have way too many books in my Kindle and on bookshelves. I'm sure I will never read them all before I die. LOL

    I switch back and forth between reading e-books and printed books. I like them both for many of the reasons already cited here. I don't think printed books are going away any time soon. Just like hardbacks did not disappear when paperbacks came out, paperbacks will not disappear because of e-books. Plenty of readers for both.

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  9. I like both. I hope print books never become obsolete. Ironic, as I prefer to publish eBooks. (g) I will read either format, though, on any device I own. (g)

    Marci Baun
    PublIsher

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  10. I buy printed books. I buy the occasionally hard cover book, but mostly I go for soft cover books. I like real books, because I want to be able to hold them in my hand and turn pages.
    I do, however, preview books on my iPad. For my favorite authors this is unnecessary, as their stories are bound to be good, but when I try a new author I like to see a preview of the work first.

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  11. I mostly buy paperbacks. If it's a book that I absolutely can't wait for, I'll buy the hardcover. They're more expensive but it's worth it. I own a Kobo but I only use it for eGalleys and the free classics it came with. I'm considering buying a Nook in the next year because of the convenience of being able to carry multiple books with me easily.

    To me, there's just nothing like the smell and feel of a real book.

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  12. The vacation before last I read paperbacks in the car and at the cottage.

    This last one it was only ebooks.

    Once I start a pattern, I stick with it for a while. That's why it's so dangerous for me to go to the casino. I hate to give up on a slot machine whether it's winning or losing!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

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  13. I like them both, but am more likely to buy an e-book than a physical book. It feels like I'm carrying a library with me.

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  14. I've tried to read an ebook--it feels mor like I'm working at my computer.

    I like paperbacks, as they are cheeper.

    And I love the fact that I can give away autographed copies of my book! Don't say that we can autograph the ebook. It is NOT the same thing as owning a physical copy.

    I don't want that the ebook takes over, I think there's enough room for both, and enough people who want the paperback books still. I love to hold one in my lap.

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  15. I swore I would always be true to printed books, but I've abandoned that thinking since the convenience and ease...not to mention savings of being a Kindle owner. As an author, I never made diddly squat on print books once people saw the cost of trade paperbacks, and then added in the S&H. I'm not big on signings so I'm all about downloads. After all, this is the electronic age, and the proof of the increase in my royalties speaks louder to me than anything. :)

    Ginger
    http://amazon.com/author/gingersimpson

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  16. Morgan, I buy both, but when I buy print, it has to be a book I really, really want. I don't think print books will disappear, but I think readers are more savvy about the type of print books they want to buy. Personally, it doesn't matter to me how my print book is produced. If I want it, I'll buy it.

    Smiles
    Steph

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  17. Print books won't disappear, but more and more print books will be POD. I think we see this with the big publishers who closed their doors. It's not that ebooks shut them down, I don't think...I believe it's because the cost of printing thousands of books and then trying to sell them ate them up.
    We have a wonderful public library, and I have always checked out books. I still go there about every 3 weeks, hoping to find something really good by one of my favorite NY authors.
    I'm seeing more trade paperbacks on the shelves with hard backs each time I go. Hardbacks still rule, but the gap is closing with POD prints.
    I like my Kindle...but as I've said many times, "I like my Kindle, but I'm not in love with it yet." I get tired reading on it--I'm a page-flipper, and I like to re-read the blurb....things you can't do on a Kindle.

    As a rule, I don't look at the publisher--the only time I do is to determine if a book is some category I don't care to read and I can't tell any other way.

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  18. I've found that so-called beach reads and books of that ilk work best on my Kindle, but for more literary or heavily plotted works, I prefer print so that I can more easily flip back through to double check a new revelation, former plot point, or character name. Unless you can remember specific words or phrases to search for, flipping back through an e-reader is clunky (one page or one chapter at a time).

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  19. That's a good point about being able to flip back in a print book. It's easy to loose track of what's happening in a story if I've been interrupted or not had a chance to read it for a while.

    Sometimes it's hard for me to figure out what happened before, although usually I can pick up on it again, since there are clues along the way.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

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  20. I buy print in mass market, hard cover (via the Mystery Guild) and sometimes, albeit rarely, trade paper, but the price factor is usually a turn-off, especially when compared to Mystery Guild hard cover prices. I don't think print books will ever disappear, but the Big Six seems to be doing its best to destroy the mid-list author, which is speeding the demise of mass market paperbacks.

    I buy by author, not publisher. For new authors, I'm more likely to start with the library or free samples from B&N for e-books.

    Terry

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  21. While I still feel a strong preference for the print versions, I find that practicality and space limitations urge me in the direction of e-books. Because I don't have a reader, however, I don't buy any books right now. Hopefully, that will change soon.

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  22. I have put some of my books up on Kindle, but I don't own a Kindle reader and have never read on such a device. I still buy books in all paper formats--hardcover, trade paperback, and mass paperback--in bookstores, library sales, on the Internet. I love books. I love they way they feel, they way the smell, they way they sit in my lap when I'm reading. I love the look of them on the shelf, I love rearranging them to update my bookshelves. I can't imagine a world without physical books.

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  23. I still buy an occasional printed book if no e-book is available or if the e-book price is more than $9.99.

    My first choice is a Kindle e-book. I also have a Kobo reader which I used for public library e-books until they started making Kindle books available. I will buy a hardcover if I can't wait for a cheaper edition.
    When I look over my shelves of old books with their tiny font, I can't imagine how I was ever able to read them.

    The publisher doesn't matter, but the price does. Indie Publishers tend to be more flexible with pricing.

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  24. I vastly prefer hardcover books. Like others, I am running out of room. I am tired of my paperbacks yellowing.

    If I had unlimited funds I would buy an ereader and buy some ebooks. I don't so I buy hardcovers.

    You don't really have anything when you have an ebook you haven't yet read. I've noticed that thieves in New Orleans, LA & Akron, O. will throw you to the ground and rifle your pockets, removing whatever is there. Bye, bye, e-reader. Granted, I am not visiting those cities but it is a reminder about taking them out and about some places anyway. And taking them out and about is the real reason for them, in part.

    Yes, the publisher or author matters -- or a peek at the quality. One of the great thing about ebooks is they usually do give you the peek in.

    I fear quality made hardcovers are beginning to be hard to find. We had to special order graduation gifts this year and they were very good quality but not quite the totally great quality one sometimes sees.

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  25. I see I didn't fully answer -- I am sticking with hardcovers. Unless a book is ONLY available as an ebook or I become rich, I won't be buying ebooks. I will be reading out of copyright books online though.

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  26. I read both print and ebook. I don't subscribe to the theory that paper books will vanish. It's good to have the choice.

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  27. I was surprised to learn how many people use Kobo. I've made all of my books available in that format as well.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

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  28. I just recently got a Kindle, and I'm enjoying it, but so far I still prefer "real" books. It'll be good for traveling though.

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  29. I read and buy them all. Being a guerilla environmentalist, I try to avoid buying new hardcover or paperback books. I often read the e-book first if available in that format or review it from the library, and if I feel I want it in my personal library, I buy the book after, often used since they are likely out-of-print books. But I have to really, really want it in my collection, and usually that means it offers some sort of resource. Art books, history books, how-tos in many topics, and a few novel series written by people I know and perhaps in which I've played a role in the production. Oh, and Mary Stewart novels! My husband collects the classics and has a huge collection of sci-fi and fantasy fiction that goes way back. I don't believe we'd ever be able to read everything we have on two e-readers and in the study. Truly. We are book wealthy.

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  30. I'm not sure if I could ever read what's on my kindle either. So much and so much more to put on there!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

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  31. I still read print and love it. I know e-book readers have a huge following. And I hope to see more of my own novels out in digital formats. I don't self-publish so it's more difficult for me. All of my novels come out in print first, usually hardcover and large print. And that's the way I prefer reading books as well.

    Best,
    Jacqueline Seewald
    DEATH LEGACY--now in hardcover
    THE INFERNO COLLECTION
    THE DROWNING POOL--both available in ebooks, paperback and hardcover

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  32. Sounds like it will be a while before readers completely say goodbye to printed books - maybe never!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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