Print, Audio and Ebook Experience

I thought this blog post would never eventuate after our aborted President’s Day weekend in Telluride that coincided with a huge boulder falling on a transmission line resulting in zero power to the whole town. We actually ended up driving back to Denver early after a night of picnicking in the semi darkness of our (rather chilly) hotel room. My husband and I called it our family Valentine’s Day adventure but after 12 hours of driving in 2 days it was more of an exhausting Valentine’s Day than anything…although, at least now I have no excuses and the blog post could be completed:)

On the way to Telluride and back we listened to two audio books in the car – one (which shall remain nameless) highlighted the very worst aspects of the audio book experience (wooden narration revealing a badly written novel in all its horror…) and we gave that one up after three discs; the second (thankfully) displayed all the wonderful elements associated with listening to a great book on CD. This (and I’m more than happy to identify it as The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman) was narrated by the wonderful Derek Jacobi (and a cast of other great British actors) and so was perhaps an unfair comparison – but, at least for part of our trip, the audio book experience was pleasantly memorable.

Both my twin boys love listening to books narrated well and still enjoy having me read aloud to them each night (which I still managed to do in our Telluride hotel room by flashlight!). What is interesting to me is that, although they love a great audio book, they are still ambivalent to ebooks – far preferring to read the print version. I often end up buying or getting from the library the print version of ebooks I own for them, as both boys want to read the hard copy rather than the electronic version. Since they both love spending on their computers and iPads, I have to wonder why neither of them have embraced ebooks. Is it because, like a bad audio book experience, it feels awkward and unenjoyable? Or is there something magical about turning the pages of a printed book that cannot be captured in an ebook (something that, as children, they feel strongly about perhaps?).

With recent reports of Amazon potentially opening physical bookstores, I also wonder whether we are finding an increasing resistance to ebooks (?). Now, I’m equally comfortable reading on my Kindle as I am reading the print version of a book – and yet my boys, who have grown up in the age of the iPad and Kindle, are not. They turn their noses up at any offer I may have to purchase the ebook version of a book they want. They’d much rather hold a book in their hands.

What about you? As a reader, do you have a preference for print, audio or ebooks? As a writer are you more wary of ebook only publication sites or publishers? Have you had a great book ruined by the audio version? What do you think – are we perhaps seeing generational differences that might result in a resurgence of print (if my boys are any indication)?

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Another Way to Get Your Ebooks into Libraries

Jordan Dane

Available for Amazon ebook preorder now

Available for Amazon ebook preorder now

 

Interested in getting your ebooks into libraries and get paid? And would you like to do it without forcing libraries to repurchase your digital offering after a restricted loan count as if it has a limited shelf life? You can upload your ebook into Overdrive or get to Overdrive through Smashwords. Both can be cumbersome systems to work with and have their challenges, but I wanted to share a developing alternative.

EbooksAreForever

EbooksAreForever is a platform to help libraries sustainably purchase ebooks from independent authors and publishers. It was launched in March 2014. Since it’s new to me, and I’d been looking for a means to reach out to libraries for my indie pubbed and backlist novels, I thought I’d share what I found.

Ebooksareforever’s philosophy is based around sustainability. They believe libraries should be able to buy ebooks at affordable prices. Since ebooks are digital and not physically degradable items, libraries should be able to own and offer them to loan for eternity.

Authors JA Konrath and August Wainwright co-founded ebooksareforever to sell DRM-free ebooks with no re-licensing restrictions.

“We deliver a curated collection of titles from independent authors and independent publishers and make it as simple as possible for both the author/publisher and the library to interact with the collection and to fairly compensate the author/publisher for every transaction.”

—August Wainwright, co-founder

How does EbooksAreForever work?

I’m excited at the prospect of having a new avenue into libraries, but understandably, libraries need a gatekeeper to ensure quality. How does that work?

Every author and book is approved by a curation team. “We need this because we’re working hand in hand with libraries”, says Wainwright, “and we need to deliver what they’re asking for. We assess by reviews, number of titles the author has available, whether those titles are in a series, quality of cover art, interest in libraries, and genre saturation in our system. We couldn’t be taken seriously if, say, 80% of our titles were romance. It equally wouldn’t work if every book had to have at least 200 reviews on Amazon.”

Good news. If your book is rejected, you can reapply 60 days later.

Each book is purchased by a library on ‘perpetual license’. They pay once and they can use it forever. Only one copy can be checked out at a time.

Will authors get paid?

Yes. Titles are sold to libraries for $7.99 (full-length) and $3.99 to $4.99 for shorter works. Authors receive 70% royalty of every sale.

Ebooksareforever says it hopes to evolve the submission/rejection process once the business grows and the system flourishes, but the current focus is on developing and sustaining a robust system which is a trusted resource and popular with libraries.

They are also working on ‘patron apps’ which will break the business out of the US and allow global libraries to purchase titles with patrons loaning copies using universal apps. This system should also see broader opportunities for author payment. A very exciting prospect.

PROS

• Free to submit

• Author payment

• Set up by authors for authors

CONS

• There are rigorous curation efforts that favor series and higher-profile authors

• For now, it’s limited to US-only

Discussion:
What have you heard about EbooksAreForever?

Any other ways to distribute your ebooks into libraries besides the ones I’ve mentioned?

tmp_4087-TheLastVictim_highres-1601584079The Last Victim available for ebook preorder at a discounted price. After release, will be available in print and ebook formats.

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