Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Digital downloads exceed hardcover book sales. Your experience?

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.

E-Books - Love them or hate them?

I am currently reading digital editions
I own an e-Reader
I intend to buy an e-Reader
I think traditional books will mostly vanish in the next 10 years
Total votes: 14

User avatar
Posts: 4435
Joined: August 2008
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 4:55 pm

I dont have an e reader. I wouldn't be against getting one for fiction books, if it was cheap and the books were cheap, but neither are true.

But we've had this discussion before about the price of ebooks.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

User avatar
Avid Reader
Posts: 496
Joined: March 2009
Location: Pendleton, Oregon

Post by SarahWoodbury » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 5:06 pm

I think we've talked about issues with e-books/kindles elsewhere, such as the inability to flip through them, no pagination (on the kindle), and the cost of the books. They won't 'take off' in my opinion until the copyright issues are addressed and I can download an ebook from my library onto my kindle on my home computer. I would do that in a heartbeat.

I have found the Kindle to be most wonderful when I am working on my own books and I 'kindle-ize' them (for free) via Amazon. It is so much easier to proof the book when I can sit and read it like a book. I understand that agents/publishers love them for the same reason. You can send the file to Amazon and they'll turn it into a kindle doc for you, and then you can transfer it to your Kindle. Makes it so much easier than carrying around a massive document or trying to read it on a laptop.

User avatar
Avid Reader
Posts: 397
Joined: February 2010
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Post by Jemidar » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 5:06 pm

I don't think we have to get to excited about this yet, although the thought of a world without real books is an appalling one :eek: .

This stuff all comes from Amazon, who has a vested interest in pushing it's Kindle. The poll is set up to make you say you will at least buy an e-reader in the future, so I doubt it's results are going to reflect reality! Also e-books sell more than hardbacks?! Well, that's not surprising as they are cumbersome and expensive. Many book shops won't stock them unless they are the blockbusters because hardbacks are very hard to make money from and they don't have much of a resale value secondhand.

My personal opinion is that e-books have their use and are good for some situations. Some people will like them and some won't. I personally see no reason to get one, I don't need it, and am not planning to get one at this stage. I also doubt that they will completely replace bound books because every time new technology comes out dire predictions are made about the world as we know it, but they are rarely true.

Amazon probably hopes it will come true because it will make life much easier for them. And they would stand to make a pot load of money with their Kindle rights.

"Well-behaved women rarely make history."
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Currently Reading:

User avatar
Posts: 3066
Joined: August 2008
Location: North Carolina

Post by boswellbaxter » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 5:14 pm

viadelprat, if you look at the upper right hand corner of the poll, there's an option to edit the poll--it should be visible to you as the poll creator. If it's not, let me know and I can add a couple of options. I am considering buying an e-reader, but it's not a top priority with me.
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


User avatar
cw gortner
Posts: 1288
Joined: September 2008
Location: San Francisco,CA

Post by cw gortner » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 5:23 pm

Well, I love my print books. I would be very sad if they disappeared. I collect hardcovers whenever these are available, and buy way too many paperbacks, but whatever. Since I was a wee lad in Spain, I've adored books.

That said, e-sales for my latest novel are astonishing. And I'm thinking of getting a e-reading device soon (not sure which, but probably not Kindle) for research purposes, because I don't use highlighter or write in my books, so I have to take copious notes and end up forgetting half the time where I read certain details, etc. so I spend too much time going back and re- researching things I know I read . . . In sum, a true pain. The ability to highlight my research stuff on a device, for easy access later while writing, is very attractive to me.

I may even become an e-reader for travel, just because I can take more with me and not be loaded down with books at the start (though rest assured, I'll buy some later at my destination :) This also means, if I like an e-book I'll no doubt end up at some point buying it in print format, as well. So, that means my book budget will double.

Oh, well. I give away about as many books as I bring in, so I'm more or less staying balanced.

For now. ;)
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!
THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles


User avatar
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 5:29 pm

I should have added above that I never purchased very many hardcovers to begin with. Paperbacks are king in my print collection. If I buy an eBook equivalent of a hardback it is in the ~$10 range (and there are a fair number that are out there for the $9.99 price). New authors, I think, have something legit to complain about when publishers insist on setting the price higher for a HC eBook. I might be convinced to pay a little more than that for new fiction from an established, favorite author whom I know I will like and want to re-read, but not for something that is an unknown quantity. Another consideration is that you can easily and legally trade away print books if you discover you don't like them.

I do confess to buying and reading more cheap genre fiction now that I own an eReader. Books with those cheesy covers that I wouldn't have touched with a ten foot pole in print, I'll try in eBook format if I get a good recommendation on one from a source I trust and see that it is dirt cheap -- and there are quite a few out there that are cheap (in the $3-6 range for MMP, e.g.). Most classics can be found for free or very nominal pricing. I think what one might want to consider when replacing classics with the free editions is whether the translation or particular edition matters to them. Sometimes it definitely will.

I'm not normally an early technology adopter and I get enough exposure to gadgetitus through work to be quite turned off by it. I only got an iPod when one was offered to me free a few years ago, and I never use it (hubby has taken it over, using it on his business trips). I still listen to my old cassettes from time to time (car still has a cassette player, e.g.).

Re bookstores... I think they are already adapting their stores to make way for eBooks. When I asked the clerk at my local B&N why they were closing, she mumbled something about remodeling costs and real estate.

User avatar
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 5:39 pm

[quote=""SarahWoodbury""]I think we've talked about issues with e-books/kindles elsewhere, such as the inability to flip through them, no pagination (on the kindle), and the cost of the books. They won't 'take off' in my opinion until the copyright issues are addressed and I can download an ebook from my library onto my kindle on my home computer. I would do that in a heartbeat.

If your local library offers eBooks you should be able to use almost any eReader on the market (except Kindle) to read them... Sony, Nook and Kobo being the most notable, I think. Re page navigation, you actually can flip through books, but have to think about it differently than in printed books. You can also use bookmarks with most eReaders. My Sony has navigation buttons that allow me to flip back easily to ToC and choose a chapter to flip to, e.g. ... with Kindle (on the iPad) it's trickier because you have to play with that percentage, sliding scale to estimate where to land.
Last edited by Ludmilla on Thu July 22nd, 2010, 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 840
Joined: January 2009
Location: Castilla

Post by emr » Thu July 22nd, 2010, 7:02 pm

Well I see I cant vote :D

I am currently reading digital editions. <-- never
I own an e-Reader <-- I dont
I intend to buy an e-Reader <-- No, thanks
I think traditional books will mostly vanish in the next 10 years <-- I dont think so unless ereaders improve seriously. Maybe 25 years?

I collect hardcovers if there is one available. I dont like to hold a paperback open in my hands. I find it umconfortable after a while and I hate the way they age after only 1 reading.
I have tried to read on a laptop screen and although I see the advantages (you can determine the font size) my eyes get tired very soon.

I'll stick with my printed books thank you very much. In fact, given my always growing tbr I can stand here for many years without recurring to technology. Where is my option to vote that? :D
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

User avatar
Posts: 2440
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA

Post by Margaret » Fri July 23rd, 2010, 5:01 am

You didn't give an option in the poll for those of us who prefer traditional books. I do not have an e-reader and do not intend to buy one-- my eyes can't take it.
Yes, the poll was a bit lacking - no options for the "hate them" category, or even the "prefer not to use them" category. I wouldn't say I hate them, because I'm happy for others to use them, but my eyes, like Andromeda's, are much happier reading print books.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Posts: 3566
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri July 23rd, 2010, 5:56 am

Viadelprat, this poll is rather disingenuous. I'm afraid the greatest information I get from it is that you are seriously trying to push e-books and e-readers. It does make me feel like avoiding your novel.

But if you really want the answer to your question, the only thing holding me back is waiting until the DRM issues are worked out. Then I'll buy an e-reader; I would prefer the e-ink type, as backlit screens are hard on my eyes.

Love ditching the clutter. Love even more when books are searchable. Love being able to annotate the e-versions.
I currently have several Gutenberg project books on my hard drive for research purposes. Some of them are books I also have on my shelf. Since I can search the former but not the latter, guess which format I'm more likely to use?

I'm not crying over the demise of rotary-dial phones, keypunch computer data cards, or other obsolete technologies. I don't weep over the fact that the codex format replaced the scroll. Everybody will adapt, and things will move on.
Last edited by MLE (Emily Cotton) on Fri July 23rd, 2010, 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”