I recently came across this interesting article about bargain ebook buyers, who they are, what they’re reading and so on.
Take a moment to read it, I’ll wait….
OK, back with me? Good.
Personally, I fall in the category of “see a good bargain, snatch it up, read it later.” In my case, “later” may be a ways off since I have so many print books to catch up on, and you already know I prefer print books over ebooks. But still, if I see an ebook that looks promising, and it’s at a good price, I’ll pick it up. (I especially like the free ones. Check out BookBub or Robin Reads).
One of the coolest things about ebooks is the exposure you get to new authors. I’m not afraid to try a new author here or there. I’ve got plenty of favorites, but every once in a while I want to try something new, something different. That’s one of the things I like about Blogging for Books, which sends you new books (in either digital or print formats) in exchange for honest reviews. I likely would not have read any of the authors in their stable if it weren’t for this program. I’m glad to say I’ve come across some authors I’ve enjoyed, including Andy Weir, Tom Cooper, and Peter Clines.
I used to be the same way with music. I’d always buy some obscure group at Best Buy or Media Play (anyone remember Media Play?) rather than the more popular, well-known band, because there is nothing like discovering a new favorite just by taking a risk. Hell, I bought Motley Crue and Guns n’ Roses before they were cool! I was the same way during my concert-going days. I’d always go early to catch the opening acts, even though the venue would be half empty and everyone else only seemed to care about the headliner. But, how else do you get the thrill of discovering an up and coming band that can in turn become your favorite new band if you don’t give them a try? My brother and I (and half of Nashville, mind you) were recently blown away by Vintage Trouble, the opening act for The Who at the Bridgestone Arena. So good! But if we hadn’t gone to the concert early, we may never have experienced the joy that is this band. (Although, I rather think it won’t be long before the rest of the world catches up in learning what a great band Vintage Trouble is!)
Bottom line, if you don’t like the unheard of author, close the book. But who knows? You may be reading the next best-selling author. Or, you may just find the book an enjoyable change of pace from the ordinary. You won’t know if you don’t try it. And, get this, if you like the author, you can always pass the word. Heck, you can help make or break careers, when you think about it.
(Now, getting past the covers of some books, especially those in the self-published pile, is another matter entirely. If the cover looks silly or amateurish, or the back cover copy is sloppy or poorly written, you can bet the inside of the book will be too. So, yeah, I do judge books by their cover. Don’t you?)
But, getting back to the matter of ebooks…Another encouraging aspect about the above post is that the ebook readers are serious readers looking for a good read, and they are willing to put down good money in search of that read. That’s good to know. So, even though I personally prefer print, I will make every effort when the time comes to make certain all of my stories are available in whatever format my readers are most comfortable with, including ebooks.
Do you really own your ebooks?
On another related topic, those ebooks you think you’ve been buying? They may not belong to you after all. Read this to see why, then come on back to read the rest of this post.
So, not only do Amazon and other ebook companies know what you’re reading and how far you’ve read, but they can take your ebook away from you if you violate their terms of service.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think they should be allowed to do that, no matter what the terms are. Once you buy something, it’s yours. Plain and simple. Take something away from me after I’ve put real money down for it, I’ll take you to court for theft.
In other ebook news, the city of New York is now partnering with Amazon to bring school text books to students in the form of ebooks.
Finally, if this topic has been too serious for you and you’ve made it this far, here’s something fun you can’t do with ebooks.
Do you read ebooks? Do you buy the bargain ebooks or go for more established authors? Feel free to start a discussion in the comments section.
Great post! I also prefer print books, but I do really like my Kindle and ebooks also. As you said, ebooks give you access to a lot of material you might not have known about. I get ebook ARCs from NetGalley and Edelweiss, and I have discovered some great books that way. (I hadn’t heard of Blogging for Books, but it sounds interesting! I will look into it.) Pretty much all the books I buy are used books. I always like taking a risk and buying books I haven’t heard of. I’m also the same way with music, which is part of why I love digital music streaming (like Spotify, for example) because there is so much access to bands/artists I haven’t heard of before.