In about a week or so, Yalu and the Puppy Room will be available as an e-book. The cost: $2.99. I’ve always been leery of putting a children’s chapter book in an electronic format. To me, a child wants to hold a physical book in their hands and turn the pages. A parent wants to read the book to their child and show the pictures. If I had written a young adult or mainstream novel, I’d agree that having an e-book format would be necessary.
The overall problem is that I am part of a dying breed of people who prefer physical books. I have three bookshelves filled with books and a fourth bookshelf on the way from a company in Arizona and even with the fourth bookshelf I’ll still have books in boxes. The problem is that the world is forever changing and one must learn to adapt to those changes.
Back in the 1930’s when paperbacks made their appearance, I’m confident that people lamented the downfall of the book industry and lovers of literature would miss their beloved leather bound hardcopy books. The paperback book would ruin everything. Although not as durable, paperbacks are cheaper and easier to carry. The same can be said of e-books.
It’s difficult to imagine all my books being contained in an electronic format—when people see books, they’re think you’re smart and better yet, you’ve read all of them. Today, and well into the future, if I want a book, I can download it in seconds and have instant gratification. People want what they desire now, not in five minutes or a few days. E-books answer the demand of, “I want it now”.
Once the book is finalized, it costs little to store an e-book on a server, computer, or Ipad. People won’t need bookshelves so that saves a few trees. E-books provide instant access to reviewers so I won’t have to ship a hardcover version of the book. That saves me postage and the depletion of my overall inventory. E-books are less expensive. Last I checked $2.99 for an electronic version of Yalu and the Puppy Room is cheaper than a $15.99 hardcover.
What bothers me is that in my lifetime, bookstores will become passé like the typewriter. I can accept change. I don’t have to like it, but I can accept it.