Friday, November 14, 2008

The eBook Hullabaloo

Why on earth does everyone have to get all twisted up about eBooks or not? This isn't a one or the other thing, it's all about what you like. I am a reader from way back and I love to lie in bed with my paperback resting on my chest as I doze off. I love being able to lie in the tub and read without fear of ruining a $300 electronic gadget.

What do I hate? I hate having to pack multiple books in my briefcase or luggage so I can read on a long trip. It makes them heavy and that is very hard on my back, neck, and shoulders. I hate leaving a book I am in the middle of reading sitting on a table somewhere and forgetting it.

Now, I tell you this because there is a solution. Behold, there is a choice! I can have my cake and eat it too. Yes, sir. I speak the truth.

I can have my beloved paperbacks and lighter packing with my eBook reader. Woohoo!

Now, I hear those readers, who are not authors, complain that they cannot tolerate the idea of eBooks. How can they give them away to their friends when they are finished? How can they sell them to used bookstores? How can they get them signed? Okay, I can't address that one. It is a fact.

Now, as for the validity of eBook: if it's good enough for Ellen Degeneres, whose book is in eBook form, as are the books of Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, Barbara Walters, and even Nora Robert and John Patterson, who actually gave away an electronic reader for Mother's Day. Yes, that's right!

Let's look at this from another aspect.

I ask you good readers to consider the plight of the author. For every book you give away to your friends after you have finished reading it, you are taking away a small portion of the living that author is trying to earn. For every book you sell to a used bookstore you are taking a part of that author's income. I'm not saying I have never done either of these things. In fact, I used to own a new/used bookstore and I have loaned books to my friends in the past. What I am saying is that they have needs just like you.

What I would like to ask is that you not only consider your own hard-earned dollars, but consider those of the authors who you are holding back when you ignore their needs so blatantly. If you don't want to buy eBooks, then fine. Don't! We are not asking you to choose one or the other. But don’t use money as a weapon to talk down about something that has the potential to make a HUGE difference in how an author can possibly earn a living when some readers continually ignore just how much time and effort go into each every word that forms the very books they give away without that author earning their hard-earned royalties.

Authors write books for readers because we love it--yes, I am an author as well--I beseech you, give the authors what they deserve. If not their full royalties for every book sold, at least your respect. For without them, you will be forced to read shampoo bottles.

About the Author:
Karen L. Syed is the president and CEO of Echelon Press, LLC. Every day is a new success story for her as she continues to grow herself and her business. She has seen eight of her own novels published (writing as Alexis Hart), along with numerous articles and short stories. As a former bookstore owner, she garnered a nomination from Publishers Weekly for their Bookseller of the Year award. She is a member of EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection). She is committed to helping and encouraging everyone she comes in contact with to seek a healthier and more positive quality of life by reaching for their dreams. You can learn more about Karen Syed at


Lena Austin said...

Thanks, Karen. Actually, I can sign an ebook, if I sign a CD the book is burned into. I'm happy to sign a CD jewel case. I even have stickers to make the job easier for the reader.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

Morgan Mandel said...

I agree. Why can't we have both ebook and print books, without a war about it? It's great to have a choice depending on what we're doing at the time.

Morgan Mandel

JLC said...

I wish I'd read this sooner! You're right, of course. And I hate reading shampoo bottles. I love Lena's suggestion about burning the book onto a CD! Great idea.

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