Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Conflict of Nostalgia

A friend recently told me he signed a two-book contract to write stand-alones that will be published only electronically.

I was silent for a moment before asking a question that probably makes me either totally naive about current publishing trends, more nostalgic than Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman, or just terribly simple.

“But you’ll never do a signing. Doesn’t that bother you?”

It was my honest response.

I have read Internet blog posts by and articles about authors, who are far from household names, earning upward of $4,000 a month selling e-books. And I know electronic publishing is trending in a direction that indicates 50 percent of all revenues will come from electronic sales in only five years.

Yet as an author, I long for the days when the first copy of my book arrives. When I open it, examine at the cover (and hopefully enjoy the sight, although not always, and that’s a whole other post), smell the paper pages, and proudly display my year’s accomplishment on my coffee table.

All this from a guy who buys most of his books in Kindle format. Conflicted? Admittedly. After all, I’d happily join the club making $4,000 a month selling e-books; I have three college tuition bills coming due soon. However, I also love face-to-face book signings, love owning both paperbacks and hardcovers. So as statistical evidence mounts indicating e-sales will soon leave print books in the abyss, I realize some version of an online author-reader event will eventually swallow up experiences like signings.

And that will be a sad day, indeed.

1 comment:

Rick Blechta said...

I’m with you there, brother!

One good thing is that book clubs continue to flourish, and even if e-books become 100% of publishing, we can still all get together to talk about books we’ve enjoyed.