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Some questions about e-books and book events - Walking on the Edge
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foresthouse
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Some questions about e-books and book events
At the National Press Club, we do one or more book events per month, where an author with a new book out will come and talk, answer questions, and sign books that are purchased there from Barnes & Noble, and that raise a bit of money per book for the non-profit journalism library. Lately there's been some discussion regarding how to adjust this event model to the growing popularity of e-books, and I wondered if you all have any thoughts on this (being, at least some of you, e-book readers). So, for the e-book readers here, here is a poll! Ta-daaaah! Also feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Poll #1813379 The Future is Bigger on the Inside!

Do you still buy regular books as well as e-books?

Yes. Boooksssss! Paper! WOO!
31(62.0%)
No. Silly heavy tomes are now obsolete.
0(0.0%)
Occasionally. I like variety.
8(16.0%)
Only for special books or authors, or a collection.
11(22.0%)

At an author event, would you still prefer to buy a paper book?

Yes.
34(79.1%)
No.
1(2.3%)
Maybe so.
8(18.6%)

Why would you buy a regular book at an author event?

To get it autographed. Scribble scribble!
38(29.0%)
Convenience! The book is sitting right in front of me.
17(13.0%)
That's part of the fun of the event experience.
19(14.5%)
I like to own some regular books, too.
20(15.3%)
The author or series is special to me.
32(24.4%)
I wouldn't buy the book.
1(0.8%)
Other (see comments)
4(3.1%)

Are there some authors or series' that you will always buy the paper book for? Who?

At a book event, would you prefer to buy an e-book if it was available on the spot?

Yeppers!
3(7.0%)
No ma'am!
16(37.2%)
I might give it a try.
24(55.8%)

What would be the best way to set up e-book sales at an event?

Autographs: would you still want to get something signed even if you bought the e-book?

Yes, that's the best part!
24(44.4%)
Eh, it's not that crucial to me.
10(18.5%)
I'd get my e-book or cover signed.
7(13.0%)
Is there an app for digital signatures now? I want that!
13(24.1%)

What if a book is only in e-book format? Would you still attend the event?

Sure thing!
14(32.6%)
Eh, nah.
4(9.3%)
I might.
25(58.1%)

Tags: , ,
Trixie feels: curious curious

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Comments
pann_cake From: pann_cake Date: January 23rd, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC) (current file)
For me, the ebooks are more about convenience and price. If something is a lot cheaper on the nook, I will buy it that way. I especially love it for series, because I can buy the next one instantly. But there are certain authors that I don't mind paying full-price for, especially if it's part of a set or collectors' thing, because I like stuff to match.

That being said, I have bought multiple versions of books so I have it in paper and e-book format. Like I said up there, I have a paperback copy of "American Gods" but it's always being leant to people and I honestly don't know where it is right now. So bought it on ebook during the anniversary promotion, so I can always have it. :)
(Deleted comment)
blergeatkitty From: blergeatkitty Date: January 23rd, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC) (current file)
I hate to be the person whose answers are so special and unique that I have to comment and be all, "it depends," but ...it depends.

I'm crazy about my e-reader and there are many books I prefer to have in e-format (for example, most books that weigh more than five pounds), but I will invest in a hardcover (and autograph) from an author I really love and I prefer to have physical books from my faves. On the other hand, if it were an event by an author I was less familiar with and I liked their reading, I would love to be able to get the e-book on the spot. For an event like what you're describing, I could see e-books being pretty successful, since people would probably come for reasons other than "this is my favoritest author and I want to meet him/her." (When I lived two blocks from a B&N, I would sometimes just drop in and hear whoever was reading on author event nights.)
particle_person From: particle_person Date: January 24th, 2012 12:34 am (UTC) (current file)
Why would you buy a regular book at an author event?

One other reason: I still buy physical books if I really love the cover. Call me shallow. ;-)
makotohanabi From: makotohanabi Date: January 24th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC) (current file)
Pretty new to the ebook thing, it's more about being able to buy books and not having to find a place for the physical copy. Right now we have book piles higher than the bookshelves.

I prefer print books for prebedtime reading, and wandering around bookstores looking for something interesting.

Still buy print books I want signed or from series I'm already collecting.
spectralbovine From: spectralbovine Date: January 24th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC) (current file)
I don't understand how or why you would buy an ebook at an event. You can buy ebooks anywhere. That's sort of the point. Why would an ebook be offered only at a physical location that you must attend? There's nothing really special about where you buy it. You can buy it on your phone while you're there, but that's sort of secondary to the event itself.

I'm new to ebooks, and I prefer buying physical books, if I'm going to spend money, and for author events, I like buying books at the venue to support the bookstore as well as get the book signed. (The local bookstore, I mean. I wouldn't really feel compelled to support Barnes and Noble, a major chain.) I don't know what you envision for this "ebooks at the event" thing.
scifantasy From: scifantasy Date: January 24th, 2012 04:20 am (UTC) (current file)
I didn't read that as "only" at the event, just something to buy. I remember going to a Terry Pratchett reading, and being told I had to buy a copy of the book to get in. (foresthouse would remember it too, as I sold the book to her for a second copy for her mother, as I recall.)

My idea of a branded USB stick would also mean another memento, in the stick itself. And the book could (maybe; this could be a limitation) have a de-DRM'd copy, which would be nice. (Or else just a link/clicky setup to get the book from any given vendor...?)
cathydalek From: cathydalek Date: January 24th, 2012 04:34 am (UTC) (current file)

ebooks

I don't really read ebooks yet. I read the stuff in the hugo packet and I occasionally download something old from project gutenberg, but ebooks don't really do it for me. (1) With paper books I can pretty much guarantee that amazon won't break into my apartment and take it back, leaving my refund on the table; (2) no dedicated ebook reader yet, although I think it's probably reached the price point where I'm tempted; (3) ebooks on the laptop are not a healthy experience for me because if I stare too long at the screen, the light can produce headaches. also, because the angle of viewing, my eyes do not always track together, which can have unfortunate results. obviously this reason will no longer exist when I buy an ereader.

I prefer paper books, so an author I like or a series I already like are almost always going to be paper copy and purchased. At the moment, experiments with new authors are done via half price days at the arlington county public library semi annual sale, since paying 25 cents for a book is a no risk proposition. I suspect with an ereader I would not be buying books by authors i really like unless it was the only version available, but rather would experiment with new authors depending on the price of the ebook.

So at least from my perspective, if I'm paying for an event at the National Press Club, it's probably an author i'm already a fan of and am interested in hearing talk. If I hadn't bought the new book yet, then yes, I would probably buy the hardcover at the event.
trialia From: trialia Date: January 25th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC) (current file)
A lot of my ebook fondness is the accessibility. I like not having to worry if a book is out in large print, and I like not having to struggle with carrying several books in my backpack or with manual dexterity in turning pages. I think a lot of anti-ebook people forget that and end up being ableist by exclusion.
(Deleted comment)
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