Hi Erlkingers and Helsings,
Today is my birthday
(I might be lying, I might very well have drafted this previously and had it ready to post…you’ll never know…muahahahaha) So…just a general update on a few bits and pieces for you today. Talking about Kindle V Hardback, (fight-fight-fight-fight!) a brief word about Litsy, (fear the new and unknown!) and an invitation to join my story challenge. (all the kool kidz are, bro) so…first thing first:
How do you prefer to read your books? There still seems to be such a divide about this, (although i’m happy to say it’s getting narrower. It’s less of a grand canyon of opinion now, and more of a space-between-uma-thurmans-eyes gap. Still noticable, but not something you can’t deal with)
It boils down, nuts and bolts, to this: would you rather a) Have a slab of light beam glyphs into your eyes to make you dream while awake? or b) do you prefer to gaze at thin slices of dead tree covered in synthetic squid-bile patterns until you hallucinate?
basically, Kindle or Hard copy.
There are arguments, (often heated amongst the bookish, often violent, occasionally fatal and always entertaining) both for and against either story-delivery-method)
People say they love the convienience of Kindle, the fact that you can store 18 billion books on a slim tablet and take them anywhere, and of course the fact that e-books are much much cheaper, therefore those on a budget can read many more. others feel they are souless trinklets that cheapen the book experience and ruin your eyes as though you were staring into the ark of the covenant with Indiana Jones.
Others prefer the ‘feel’ of a physical book in their hands, and it’s all very tactile, with the smell of paper and the rustle of pages. These people can get pretty carried away. when they start licking bookspines I back away. but on the flipside…tree-murdering villans!
( and then of course let us not forget there are also those who buy books with the sole and only intention of having them ‘look pretty’ on shelves, usually ‘rainbow-filed’ but with no intention of ever actually reading them – we dont like these people. These people disturb me. They are the same as those who collect and pin butterflies under glass. Yes, it’s pretty to look at, but you’re kind of missing the point. Books are meant to be read. Dreams and thoughts given physical form, and butterlflies are meant to…well…flutter by. to deny either their natural purpose is WEIRD)
Anyway, here is where I personally come down on the Kindle vs Hard copy war: I like BOTH
(gasps of shocked astonishment)
Yes! This is possible. It is allowed. It’s not illegal, nor is it against the laws of nature. This is not a civil war where one must swear allegiance! The same rule applies for the ENDLESS Marvel vs DC argument (I enjoy both, equally) and Austen vs Bronte (again, I like both, equally.)
These things are not mutually exclusive!
A rule in my house is generally that kindle is a good way to try out a new writer you might not know yet, and then if you do like their book, you then buy the hard copy too. (so that you can read it again – i dont care what anyone says, things ‘read differently’ on ebook and hard copy)
After that of course, you can put the copy on the shelf, in its correct rainbow place, where it will look pretty…just next to the butterflies.
Which is better for writers though?
People do ask me quite often, as a writer, whether I prefer people to buy my books as ebooks or as hard copy, and honestly, the answer is that I really dont care.
Technically I make more money on a kindle-copy sold than I do on a hard copy, because it doesnt cost the publishers as much money to produce, so therefore cut is less, (therefore my agents cut is less and my royalties are higher, on a book by book basis at least.)
But on a hard copy, the cost of producing the physical book is reflected in the price to the reader to buy it, so a physical book will earn more, therefore the publishers earn more, and although my royalties are smaller on a book-by-book basis, they are the smaller portion of a larger profit (if that makes sense) so these things tend to even out.
(This might differ for Indie or self-published writers, as they dont have Publishers or Agents taking cuts and commissions, but on the other hand, they have to pay for their own adversiting and have to pay to have their books editied and published themselves) I’m not indie or self-published, so I can’t answer for them, you’d have to go ask one, but I would imagine it’s a simiar balance overall.
If I had to choose a favourite, (which I dont, but lets be theoretical for a moment) It would be physical copy, for one reason alone.
You can tell how big a book is. (thickness and heft)
These things are hard to judge on an e-book. For example my first three books in the Changeling series (pictured below) all look and feel the same on kindle. It’s only when you get the hard copies that you can see how they have gotten progressively longer as the series has progressed.
(and yes, before you ask, book four is going to be roughly the size of a house-brick. dont say I dont give you your moneys worth of story)
Another reason to love hard copies more are that I love bookmarks, and I like to fold pages and read in the bath. It’s hard (and expensive) to fold a kindle or Ipad, and reading them in the bath can be fatal 🙂
Old dog – new tricks
The next thing I just wanted to briefly mention in this blog post is the new Social Media platform for booklovers, Litsy.
If you’re a book-nerd like me, or if you’re already part of the Bookstagram community on IG, you will probably either already be on here, or you will at least have heard of it being bandied around.
In essence, it’s similar to IG, with the difference being that it ONLY relates to books and posts about books. (you can either upload a Blurb, a Quote or a Review.)
There has been a lot of chest-beating about an exodus from Insta due to changes to the Algorythm or too many ads etc, (and frankly some of it has been a little hysterical) so I’d just like to say, in my opinion, its the marvel/dc – austen/bronte argument all over again. (you…dont…have…to…choose…one!)
I have joined Litsy, because i’m bookish and I like book things, and I can handle another social media platform without quite having a total mental breakdown. if you can too, excellent. if you cant, or dont want to, thats cool too, and I will still hug and love you. Feel free to come and find me over there if you like and say hi. But to confirm, I will NOT be leaving the Bookstagram community on IG.
That’s my spiritual home, it’s where most of my freinds live, and it’s a great and fun community. It’s where, as a writer I do a HUGE chunk of promoting my books, competitions, giveaways, bookmerch etc, but its also where I share my life with people (dog walks, Landscape and nature pics, architecture photos and any other random nonesene that pops into my head.) I love being able to do that, and it brings me much closer to both my readers and to other fun writers who have become firm freinds. There’s no scope for any of that ‘wider-life’ stuff on Litsy.
But Litsy is a place I can copy all of my specific ‘Bookish’ posts too, and have them all neatly arranged and pretty in one place together (next to the pinned butterflies and rainbow-books)
So for once and for all, it isnt an ‘either-or’ its not like cheating on your signifigant social media other. It’s just another way to have fun and to make the most of your reviews and bookpics. (and you know how much I like bookpics) 🙂
Final update: join my story-challenge!
My final update for you, before I let you all escape (i’m aware your cup of tea is going cold there) is just to let you know that next month, over on bookstagram, I will be running the third monthly ‘Shayverlee six word story challenge’
This is something I thought up a while back, and managed to rope my good freind and fellow author Bev Lee in to help me co-host. Between us we’ve run this monthly challenge twice now, and it’s been a great success and good fun all around.
The basic idea is that, between us, we have thought of a word prompt for each day of the month, and people who play the Shayverlee challenge have to make a story either based or or inspired by that prompt in exactly six words. It can be quite challenging to express something in such a constraint, but that’s half the fun, and some of the entries in previous months have been both diverse and inspirational. If you’d like to join in this time around, please do head on over and give me a follow, and let’s see your creative juices flowing next month. come join the creative collective 🙂
thats all from me today folks. have a wonderful weekend. i’m off to eat my own body weight in birthday cake. x