Now, this isn’t another physical vs. digital debate about preference, comfort, or convenience, but it’s about access.
While many authors, myself included, care about book sales, many of our concerns go beyond mere sales to actual readers: human beings who want and need to read books. While ebooks are fabulous and sales are important, we must also be mindful that e-readers, tablets, and anytime access to computers are luxuries that not everyone, or every reader, has–but it doesn’t mean they don’t want and need books just as much as people with Kindles and smartphones do.
Sue is a mom who loves to read, but her household only has one PC, and she can’t access her ebooks while her son Johnny is on the computer, doing his homework. Bill loves to read, but he’s currently serving time for some run-ins he’s had with the law. April would love to have her own e-reader one day, but her dad says it’s not something they can afford right now. Maybe next year.
Reaching more readers however we can is one of the joys of being authors, whether we’re selling to book buyers, hosting giveaways, or making book donations. I like donating print copies of books to libraries, and I plan on checking out other organizations that need books, like Seattle7Writers.org and Books to Prisoners (local to Seattle.)
I encourage authors to find out who around them needs access to books and to please consider donating print books as well, for readers who can definitely use them.
(Then, there are still so many readers, like me, who’d be far more likely to purchase a paperback than an ebook, but again, that’s a discussion for another time. 😉 )