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Over the past few years, e-readers have changed the way we browse, purchase, and read books. As with any new technology, there is resistance to adopting e-readers. Some people have sworn to never give up their trusty paperback and hardcover books.
People have a lot of reasons for swearing off ebooks, like the simple desire to stick with the familiar. Many traditionalists say they can’t give up the smell of a new book. Others have expressed their need to put their book collections on display or use them as décor.
In what might be considered more practical reasons for avoiding this new technology, plenty of folks have wondered whether the files that comprise ebooks are safe and secure. Digital files are not tangible, so they seem far more fragile than a nice solid object in your hand. Yet I’m sure a similar argument was made many centuries ago when paper replaced stone tablets: Fire and water destroy paper so easily. Nothing can replace a trusty block of concrete!
When I first heard about e-readers, my heart almost stopped. You see, I’m very attached to my books. The idea that we might, one day soon, be living in a world where books were just bits and bytes rubbed me the wrong way. But in time, my attitude changed. A big reason for this has to do with bulk and volume. I simply don’t want to tote around hundreds of pounds of books for the rest of my life. I have a lot of books and the idea of fitting 3,000 of them into a device that fits in my hand was mighty appealing.
But that’s not why I finally bought a Kindle. What finally made me get a Kindle was the fact that I was about to become an author.
Kindle for Writers
In recent months, the number of ebook sales has surpassed print sales. Ebooks, and Amazon in particular, have made books cheaper and more accessible for readers. More importantly, they have made publishing more accessible to writers. My recently published book, 101 Creative Writing Exercises, has already sold twice as many copies for the Kindle as it has in print.
I’m glad I bought a Kindle when I did.
In fact, the reason I finally caved and got the Kindle was because I was writing a book. Based on my market research, I knew the majority of my readers would be using the Kindle, and I wanted to be able to review my own product and test it for quality in the same format my readers would be using.
Writers should keep in mind that a Kindle purchase is a tax write-off if you’re writing professionally or with the intention of getting published. And the benefits of the Kindle don’t stop there.
10 Things I Love About the Kindle
- It holds approximately 3,000 books. I can take my entire library with me everywhere I go (no more agonizing over which book I want to bring on vacation), and it saves tons of space in my home.
- Most ebooks are cheaper than their paperback counterparts. While some publishers keep their ebook prices high, the prices are likely to go down as ebooks compete in an increasingly affordable market.
- Authors who self-publish are reporting much higher royalty earnings thanks to ebooks. I like knowing that an author gets a greater share of the revenue when I purchase their self-published books on my Kindle.
- When I want to read a book, I can buy it and be reading it in seconds.
- My wrists don’t get sore from holding up massive 1200-page books. It’s easy to curl up comfortably with with my Kindle. I have spent many a night wrestling into a comfortable position with an enormous book, so this is a huge bonus for me.
- Instead of writing notes in the margins or keeping a separate notebook, I can attach notes digitally to the book I’m reading.
- I can also create bookmarks with a couple of clicks, making it easy to return to passages I want to revisit later.
- I can pop into the Kindle store from the device and browse, shop, buy, or add items to my wish list. This is a great feature when you’re reading books on the craft of writing that mention other titles.
- Kindle remembers where I left off, so I don’t have to use bookmarks or dog-ear my books to save my place.
- I can look at the book I authored on my Kindle and see what the majority of my readers see when they read it.
Finally, I want to add that if your Kindle is destroyed, stolen, or lost, you can get a new one and easily restock it with all of your ebooks at no additional charge — because your purchases are stored electronically and can be downloaded to multiple devices.
There’s a lot to love to love about the Kindle. Mine is the third generation Kindle Keyboard, and I’m sure the newer models that came out last fall are even better. I can’t wait to upgrade to the Kindle Touch.
Do you have a Kindle or use an e-reader? Do you want one? Do you feel that as a writer, you should be able to review your books on devices that your readers will use? Share your thoughts about ebooks and e-readers and how they affect authors by leaving a comment.