Sunday, May 13, 2012

EBook Clubs?

We like book clubs. Our family belongs to several but, as independent eBook writers, we’re having some difficulty getting any interest from clubs about reading our novels.

Some of this has to do with availability. Book clubs, at least the ones we are familiar with, tend to be old fashioned affairs. Many of the members prefer to check out the assigned reading from the library. The problem with that is that our eBooks aren’t in the library. These institutions only have limited budgets and, so far, they aren’t devoting a great deal of that to eBooks. What eBooks they do carry are digital versions of best sellers from famous authors. Another issue with library eBooks is the plain awful software you have to use to check out a book. It is clumsily designed, hard to use, and prone to causing problems on the computers that install it. It’s made by Adobe, but since they give it away, there is no incentive for them to build a decent product. What the library system needs is a cloud based system like Amazon’s or Google’s that keeps the eBook, the accounting, and all your check-in and outs on the web. That way it could be easy to use with any PC, smart phone, or e-reader.
Some of the problem lies with the clubs themselves. We are among the few club members we know who prefer to read the selection on our e-readers. It is changing slowly, but there seems to be real resistance by book club participants to even try using a Kindle. Even with all of our preaching to the contrary, it’s hard to convince people who love paper that it is actually a more enjoyable reading experience if you can just trust the technology.

So to counter all of this, Lynn Evans is looking for book clubs where we can donate our novels for the members to read. We’re hoping the lure of getting something for free will win over at least a few clubs into reading our novels electronically. We will even make ourselves available to discuss the work should the club members wish it. Anything to help open the virtual world of eBooks and the possibilities they represent.

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