Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The time has come

Blechta here, back on the e-book beat.

In order to continue with this topic, I need all those nice folks reading Type M to give me a bit of research material on e-books, readers and your preferences. Ideally, I’d like feedback to come from authors, readers, publishers, reviewers, anybody who reads or is involved in the production of books.

Here’s how it will work. Copy the following information. Click below on my name to automatically create an email, then paste in the survey information, write in your answers and send the email off to me. Over the next few weeks, I’m also going to be contacting all sorts of people for more feedback and then I’ll post it here on Type M. Please help! A survey (even if a rather unscientific one like this) is only as good as the amount of people who are sampled. To sweeten the kitty (this is called the “premium”), one name drawn at random will receive a copy of my most recent novel, A Case of You.


1. I have/have not tried an electronic readers. (Cut out one. If you answer “have”, please share your impressions of the device.)
2. I own an electronic reader. (Yes or no, and please give the make if you answer yes.)
3. I would like to own an electronic reader. (see previous question)
4. Electronic readers are an abomination! I will never own one!! (Yes or no)
5. For authors: I would prefer my work to published in electronic form only. (Y/N)
6. For authors: I would prefer my backlist to be available in electronic form only. (Y/N)
7. For authors: If I’m going to be published, it’s books only for me! (Y/N)
8. For publishers: We already publish e-books. (Y/N)
9. For publishers: We are planning on publishing e-books. (Y/N)
10. For publishers: Our backlist will only be available as e-books. (Y/N)
11. For reviewers: I already review books in e-book form. (Y/N)
12. For reviewers: I plan on reviewing books in e-book form. (Y/N)
13. For reviewers: I wouldn't review any book published in e-book form. (Y/N)

If you care to elaborate on any of your answers, please feel free!

Send your survey to rick@rickblechta.com


That’s it. I’ll give everyone two or three weeks (depending on the flood of answers).

Thanks for your help!


Donis Casey said...

I'm going to do this, Rick, though I'm so old fashioned that I don't know how useful it'll be to you. It'll take me a little while to get around to it, so be patient with me. I hope you'll post the results and your conclusions for us. Interestingly, my guest blogger on Sunday is Gayle Trent, whose novels are published both in traditional and electronic formats.

NL Gassert said...

I like the idea of the e-reader in general. I have an iPod and I like its portability. Not having to lug a heavy hardcover around in my purse sounds like a great idea, but I don’t think my favorite authors e-publish yet—I’m stuck with the hardcover—and I like having books on shelves. I cannot imagine my house without actual books, which are as decorative as they are entertaining.

It’s kind of like the chicken and the egg: I don’t do e-books, so I don’t need an e-reader, but would I buy e-books if I had an e-reader?

Rick Blechta said...

Bottom line is: e-books are coming and we won't be able to hold back that tide. The real question is: how are they going to be delivered? I think that's what's holding people back from embracing them more fully.

The Hi-Def DVD format has just been canceled. It will no longer be used. Why? Because Blue-Ray smoked it.

Book buyers are a discerning, intelligent lot. All the readers have drawbacks and most seem to have proprietary formatting. Who wants to spend money on a book that you might not be able to read in 1, 2, 3 or whatever years? With good old paper and ink, that's not an issue.

A large percentage of music is now bought as a download. What if your iPod crashes and all those songs are lost? If you have CDs or tapes or records (remember those?), you're covered. "Memory" is now more electronic than ever -- and it's getting worse.

I'm just trying to sort it all out -- if anyone can!

Anonymous said...

eBooks aren't coming, they are here. Have been for many years. People just refuse to take off the blinders.

Echelon Press has been publishing eBooks for the last 8 years and we weren't even close to being the first.

The problem is, people don't like change. They think one or the other, and that is not the case, unless we keep abusing our environment. eBooks are a great addition, not a replacement.


Rick Blechta said...


Yes, you're right. I didn't state my thesis all that clearly. Thanks for pointing that out.

I've been discussing this off-line with Vicki D and we both feel that now that e-books are being put out by the major print publishers, the whole perception of e-books and all that they entail (readers, downloading, etc.) is becoming more mainstream, hence more "acceptable". That's what I meant when I said e-books are coming.

Not to denigrate anyone's products, but it wasn't too long ago that many, many e-books were, to put it simply, quite dreadful. With more wide-spread acceptance (helped along by Amazon and Sony), they are moving into the mainstream, which means that the quality is also improving.

Thanks for weighing in, and I will be checking out Echelon Press!