By Lonnie Cruse
How embarrassing would it be for any author to insist publicly that she/he did not want her/his books to become e-books or to have them be available on the Kindle or any other e-reader, only to find out that they were already available as e-books? Oops! This caused QUITE the stir on the Kindle discussion lists recently, let me tell you, because apparently some unflattering things were said by the author about e-reader owners!
To be fair, some fans of the author said the author apologized for the remarks, but other less tolerant insisted that it's been said more than once. I can't prove it either way. The upshot of this discussion was that many Kindle owners have vowed not to buy this author's books. Shooting oneself in the foot while the other foot is stuffed firmly into one's mouth makes walking quite difficult.
Admittedly, we authors are a strange bunch. We spend days on end staring at a computer screen, trying to write what we hope readers will want to read, sometimes still dressed in our jammies, taking breaks only for the potty or to throw in another load of laundry and grab a sandwich on our way back to the computer. It's easy to forget our company manners when out in public, particularly if we haven't BEEN in public for a while. Whatever the cause, it behooves us all to watch not only the words that we put on paper, but more important, the words that fall out of our mouths. And it behooves us to keep up with modern technology, particularly as it affects the writing and publishing industry.
E-books are apparently here to stay. And, trust me, they aren't just for the wealthy. Many folks on a budget, including me, ask for gift certificates with which to buy an e-reader. Or to add books to said e-reader. Many e-reader owners are folks with eye problems who need to be able to increase the font size off all the books they read, or who have other physical impairments that make holding an e-reader and pressing a button to turn pages much easier than holding a physical book and trying to turn paper pages. And like it or not, e-reader books save trees. They save books from being remaindered when they don't sell. And they save shelf space in book stores and in homes.
Writers may or may not like e-readers but e-books are catching on like a house afire and he or she who refuses to recognize this and participate risks losing money, not to mention going the way of the dinosaur. And that will be as painful for the writer as it was for the dinosaur. Trust me.