Thursday, December 24, 2015

Paper or Virtual? How I Make the Choice Between Print and Digital Formats

I've read a couple of articles this year discussing the leveling off of e-reader sales, and I've heard plenty of people say they just have to feel a book in their hand, be able to turn the pages. It always seems to me in the articles sounding the slump in sales of digital readers that there's a certain amount of an I-told-you-so attitude to it, as if digital and print formats cannot peacefully co-exist. So, here's my personal take on it as a writer whose books appear in both digital and print formats, and as a voracious reader of fiction and nonfiction.

There's room for both. However, I have my personal preferences when it comes to my own reading. When it comes to reading for my own enjoyment, give me my Nook or my phone any day of the week. I can carry around a whole freaking library in my purse. Do you know how amazing that is to me? Not only can I carry around a whole freaking library, but I don't have to listen to reading snobs comment on what I choose to read. So you want to read the latest critically acclaimed piece of literary fiction? That's fantastic. I want to read hot sex scenes and stories that I know are going to have a happy ending.

I spend all day teaching writing and literature. Before I began teaching, I spent all day writing television news stories, most of which were heart-wrenchingly depressing. When I'm done working, I don't want to read more serious writing. I want dessert. I want candy. I want cake. So give me a fun, sexy, fast read that is pure entertainment.

And give it to me on my tablet, please.

When it comes to serious reading, such as literature that I am going to have to discuss, or textbooks, I would prefer to have them in print. Now, if you're a book purist, please skip the next few sentences. The reason I like them in print is because I write, highlight, and add sticky notes all over the pages. I have attempted to do this with digital books, but it's just not the same. For the latter half of my masters degree studies, I participated in a Nook program in which all  my books were downloaded to my tablet. Don't get me wrong. It saved me a TON of money, but I just couldn't get comfortable with electronically highlighting and writing notes. It just didn't feel right. I like my reference books in print as well. I think it's easier to use my Chicago Manual of Style or my APA manual when I can flip through the contents and the index and quickly turn to the page I need.

What got me thinking about this is that my publisher, Kensington, is putting the digital version of Special Delivery on sale for just 99 cents from December 27, 2015 through the end of January. This is a great deal--more than 75% off retail price. What makes it even better is it's the first book in my series, Mountain Meadow Homecomings. Although the book is not specifically tied to the Christmas season, it does take place around this time of year, so now is a great time to get it, if you haven't already.
The sale ends just in time for the release of book two in the series, Lost & Found Love, on February 2, 2016. This story is so much more than a romance. It's also about finding family and the redeeming qualities of love. I am really excited about this second book in the Mountain Meadow Homecomings series. I hope you will be too.

The best thing of all is that whether you enjoy digital or print... this series is available in both formats. Sorry, though, it's only the digital version of Special Delivery that you'll be able to pick up for 99 cents. However you choose to read, I hope you'll enjoy Mountain Meadow and all the folks who live there.

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