Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Why offer a variety of e-book formats?

Well, we got the print versions out. And then the Kindle e-book. Some would say that that was enough, especially as you can download free applications (apps) for other readers and PC desktop.
So why go jumping through the hoops of formatting to some very specific guidelines for another e-book distributor for what is virtually the same audience?
Well, just as you want your print books to be available in as wide a selection of booksellers as possible - this includes brick & mortar and on-line - so you want your e-books available as widely as possible. 
I don't believe that electronic books will replace print. Not fora minute. They can remove barriers as you only see one page at a time in bite-sized chunks. The print can be enlarged, making for a better reading experience if you have sight difficulties or just don't like the tiny print you often find in some books. Reports suggest that those with e-readers actually read more;that over half are over 50yrs;that70 -80 yr olds are using them as many find turning a page difficult - much easier to press a button. The important thing is to read and to enjoy the reading experience.
Although Amazon have the lion's share of the print and e-book market, not everyone wants to shop there. Nor does everyone want to, or can, shop on-line. There are still parts of the UK for instance which do not have broadband provision. There are many who are not familiar with, or want to use, a computer. I read that there are approx 9 million people in the UK who cannot use the Internet! I know a couple of people who would rather ride their Gold Wing motorbikes than use a computer.
We all have our favourite retailer.Therefore books must be available at whatever store,in whatever format,via whatever shopping experience is the preferred option.
The Just Us Two travel books and the new Lifelong Learning Personal Effectiveness Guides are available worldwide in print to be purchased either on-line or from your local bookseller. If they are not in stock in your local store,(and let's face it no one store can stock all of the millions of books in print) they can be ordered without problems. Delivery is quick with the modern technology used. On-line purchases are by order only anyway.
So that takes care of print. However, e-readers are rapidly expanding, not only in type such as Apple iPad, iPhone, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony, Kobo (Blackberry Playbook tablet reads Kobo), Diesel etc., but in ownership. I mentioned earlier that Amazon have free apps for most of these and PC desktop/Laptop. This is important as Amazon have far more e-books in their store than other e-retailers. However, customers often prefer to shop for downloads direct from their readers' retail store or  e.g. Apple.Kobo. (Just Us Two has been a  Nook book and Kobo book for some time.)

It is all about choice and availability.

That is why I have been jumping through formatting hoops these last few weeks. And it has paid off. All Christal Publishing books can be downloaded direct from the Smashwords site  for readers and PC.They are currently being shipped to the e-retailers mentioned above having passed all high quality formatting checks to qualify for the Premium Catalogue. 
Was that a pat on the back? Thanks!
They are also being shipped to other e-retailers such as Powell's in the US or Fishpond in Australia  where they can be downloaded in Adobe Digital Editions having passed all formatting quality specifications there. They take a few weeks to appear.

Latest news is that Kobo have teamed with WHSmith in the UK to offer Kobo books.

So, happy reading.There is a lot to choose from . It's nice to curl up with a good print book even though an e-reader is more convenient some times. So it is not a case of 'either or  ' but  'both' You can have your cake and eat it.

Rosalie xx