Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Read an E-book Week!

This week, the internet world is celebrating e-books in a big way. March 8 through 14 has been designated "Read an E-book Week" - a holiday that will hopefully endure for many years to come.

E-books and e-publishers have seen huge increases in sales and readership over the last several years. Readers who swore they would never enjoy any book that wasn't printed on paper have picked up devices like Amazon's Kindle and the Sony e-Reader, and become promptly hooked (the Smart Bitches often refer to Amazon's e-book reader as the Kindle-ade).

E-books are diverse and (for the most part) affordable, and come with quite a few benefits. The one I find most intriguing is this: possession of an e-book reader is like having a black hole or a hammerspace in your pocket or purse, in which you can store an entire library of books that are available at your convenience. It's practically a superpower! The ability to transport shelves upon shelves of books in a single bound. Outside of teleportation, I'd totally dig this power.

E-book Week has an official site, featuring an excellent article by Warren Adler, who predicted the popularity of e-books 12 years ago (way to go, Warren! :-). The site also features pages of free and deeply discounted e-book offers from publishers participating in the celebration - so if you've never tried an e-book, here's your no-risk opportunity.

You don't need an e-reader to partake in the joy of e-books (though they are certainly very sleek and sexy devices, great investments for voracious readers, and oh, drool, how I wish I had one . . . sorry, I'll stop now). E-books are available in formats you can read right on your computer - typically PDF or HTML. So go forth and grab yourself a handful of free e-books today. And while you're out - pick me up a hammerspace, will you? I've always wanted one of those.


April said...

Great post! Now that I can get ebooks for my blackberry, I will be reading much more of them! I would love to have a Kindle or some such eReader, but don't think that will happen for quite some time. With the economy the way it is going, I would not be surprised if more publishers don't try to shoot for that format - much less costly, I imagine, than print copies. Though, for me, nothing will ever beat being able to hold a book, turn the pages and just the beautiful artwork of the covers.

s.w. vaughn said...

Thanks, April!

I will definitely admit that I'll always love print books. But there's a lot to be said about the convenience and affordability of ebooks. :-)

Regarding the big publishers and ebooks... well, some of them are doing fairly well, and others aren't. There's quite a bit of discussion on the topic of big publishers and ebooks on the Smart Bitches and Dear Author blogs - in some cases, their ebook versions are as expensive, or more expensive, than the print version.

However, indie publishers who produce ebooks tend to keep prices extremely reasonable, and will publish a wider variety of story formats (shorts, novellas, etc) for a few bucks a download. So, both print and epub have their pluses!

Marta Stephens said...

This should be a very exciting week for all of us with e-books!!

Sheila Deeth said...

Wow. I even found some books I'd been planning to read. A great way to try the first of a series and see if I want to buy the rest. Thanks for the these links.

Kim Smith said...

I am developing a huge library- it's fun!