Friday, October 01, 2010

Coming of digital age

It used to be that readers wanting to purchase a Harlequin after a few months might have trouble finding a new copy. A year or so later? Only if the publisher decided to reissue the book.

Now, our books will stay in print virtually forever thanks to the digital age. It came a lot faster than many of us expected.

I’ve heard statistics that, a mere three years ago, less than one percent of book purchases were for ebook readers. Today, that hovers around 12 percent, and in 3-4 years, it may go as high as 50 percent.

You don’t even have to own an ebook reader to enjoy digital copies. My son announced that he was reading Kindle books on his smart phone, downloading them while traveling in Japan. Although he’s since bought a Kindle, you can download a free app – a small program – from so you can read these digital books on your computer or smart phone.

My son, who’s 24, says he’s reading more books than ever. Isn’t that great? Another friend is buying more books now, too, and reading them on his phone. I can’t imagine wanting to read on such a small screen, but he loves it.

If you’ve checked my Web site recently (, you’ll see that I’ve uploaded two of my non-Harlequin books onto Amazon for $2.99 each (I’ve posted the first chapters on my site, so you can read them for free). One is a paranormal romantic suspense that nearly got published in print and technically got published digitally, but both times the publishers went bankrupt. Not my fault, honest! The second book is a darkly funny mystery that was published in a beautiful hardcover edition – but with a very small print run aimed at libraries.

Now, they’re both available for anyone who wants to read them. I’m getting some of my other older books scanned into Word, including my Regency romances. I plan to re-edit them as needed, attach new ISBNs (tracking numbers) and design new covers. No more languishing on remote, dusty shelves for them!

So if you missed a Harlequin American from a few months ago or even last year, you can find it there. If your favorite bookstore runs out, you have options. Isn’t the digital age great?

1 comment:

Estella said...

I have a Kindle and I also read a lot of books on my laptop.
I love the convenience of ebooks.