Ebooks Are Here To Stay

By • Sep 16th, 2011 • Category: Djuanna BrockingtonEmail This Post Email This PostPrint This Post Print This Post

Y’all should have known I’d be back. I couldn’t stay away too long. I really missed you guys. I’ve been reading and writing, and living life. And watching trends. And getting pissed off. You know, the things I do best.

As an avid reader, I have to say that when it comes to ebooks and ereaders, I was what you would call, an early adapter. I didn’t wait for the trend to become hot before I decided to check it out. I downloaded my first ebook to my computer years ago. And when Amazon announced the Kindle, I was all ready ready to give them my two hunnert-fiddy bucks, when I heard that Barnes and Noble had one in the works. So I waited a minute to see what competition would bring (usually lower prices). And when BN did their thang, I gave them my funds ’cause I liked their look better.

I’m not new to the technology game, and knew that prices would keep coming down and models would keep getting better. In the meantime, I was now reading books on my computer, my Nook, and my cell phone (and yes, I have the Kindle and Nook apps- don’t judge me). And Apple did us all in with their iPad. Y’all know I ’bout died.

And my daughter has an ereader, my man reads off his apps on his phone, and my mom’s best friend (she’s over 65) just bought the Nook Color and is a very happy camper. It’s the way of the future.

Until I was participating in a Facebook convo this summer about ebooks and ereaders and a poster stated that she would “never” buy one and “never” let her kid read from one. What in the- what? I had to check myself with a quickness. Not my child- she can raise hers how she sees fit. And if crippling her child by refusing to accept that there are other ways to read besides killing trees works for her- so be it.

Me, I’m gonna be all over this thing. And Yas, bless her heart for being my friend, has encouraged me to begin the conversation right here with real readers.

Before you guys think I’m daft, which you well may think anyway, check out JA Konrath’s blog. He’s a midlist writer who has predicted some dire things about traditional publishing. I’ve been following him for a couple of years, and his stuff is coming to pass. I’m just saying.

I’d like to get the conversation started here at APOOO about ebooks and African American readers. I think that once again, we are falling behind, being slow to adapt, waiting to see what others are going to do first.

Personally, I don’t think books are going anywhere (vinyl records are a niche, but very profitable market in the music industry these days)- but they are not going to be the main way to get information any more. Actually, they haven’t been for a long time- internet, anyone? And let’s face it, Borders going out of business was not the first sign of the publishing apocalypse.

Your turn. Drop a comment and let me know what you think- do you read ebooks? Why? Why not?

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is a Southern Diva. Reading, writing, and running (on occasion) are her favorite things. Her short stories and novellas can be found on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. When not ranting on APOOO, she's ruminating on her own website: http://www.divafictionbytes.com
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6 Responses »

  1. I’m with you in that I first downloaded and read books on my pc years ago. I still haven’t purchased an ereader–because I think more change and lower prices are coming–but that hasn’t stopped me. I have the Kindle and Nook apps for pc installed and have downloaded over a hundred titles on each. Most of my downloads are free ebooks, which I think is one way to win over physical book readers and one reason why AA readers are late to the game. I rarely see free ebook offerings for African-American titles. I see them for romance and Christian fiction, two of my favorite genres, all the time. Hence, the over 100 titles I have downloaded on both the Kindle and Nook apps.

    I’ve purchased some ebooks too. There I tend to buy on Amazon only because they have a much wider selection and they run great promotions on contemporary titles. I frequently find books for $0.99 on Amazon that will cost $5 or more on Nook.

    So the lack of free ebooks is one reason I think AA readers are late to the game. This is part of a bigger distribution issue. Netgalley, which offers free book downloads including Kindle versions, rarely has AA titles too. Why aren’t our books as readily available in ebook format as others?

    Another issue, of course, has been the cost of ereaders. But that issue is going away, I think. I just bought my first smartphone. an Android. Imagine my surprise to discover that it had the Kindle app pre-installed. And all my titles are there. Just this week, I blew through two books on my phone. This could be dangerous…

    Still, physical books won’t go away for me for some time, I think. Books I know I’m going to want to re-read I want in physical book form. Ereaders are great for 98% of my reading though because I’m only going to read it once. Why take up space?

  2. I’m so with you Patricia. I love having the ability to read on any one of my devices at any time. As for the question about AA authors being late to the ebook game, I think you are definitely right about availability and freebies, but I also think pricing is an issue. If you look at some of the top selling books on the Kindle lists, many are by indie pubs (self-pubbed) and they are priced 3.99 or less. I have seen a lot of AA ebooks priced at for 6.99/9.99/12.99. Um- I’m not paying those paperback prices for an ebook. I think AA writers sometimes equate quality with price. They are not the same. I have read A LOT of great ebooks that were free or less than 2.99, and I’ve read quiet a few that were crappy and from a traditional publisher for more than that.

    And while the prices of ebook readers may feel like a splurge for many, all those smart phones that folks are carrying all have ebook apps, so an entry barrier has been removed, so to speak. Great points, and please, please, please give me a recommendation or two!
    Djuanna´s last blog post ..Bite Marks by Terence Taylor

  3. If you would like to try my two novels, WIFE OF THE GODS and CHILDREN OF THE STREET, which are both detective novels set in Ghana, West Africa. In that way they are unique, written by someone who is both Ghanaian and black American. They are available as paperback, on Kindle, Nook, iPad and Google e-books

  4. I have ebooks dating back to 2001. I’d have more but I’ve always been too curious for my own good and just couldn’t stop myself from clicking on strange emails. So I lived in the land of virus r us. Now I have 4 memory sticks because I may not be that mom who won’t let her kid read ebooks, but I’m good with the nook and kindle app for PC and I carry my netbook and/or blackberry everywhere I go.

    Great to see you back!
    D.S. White´s last blog post ..My Encounter With Plagiarism and How You Can Avoid Plagiarizing

  5. Umm where do I start – are we lumping all African American into the comment “I think that once again, we are falling behind, being slow to adapt, waiting to see what others are going to do first”

    I am a woman of my own wants and movement. I’m not sure if I am behind or ahead because I don’t follow trends. I like what I like and wear it, use it, or discard it when I feel it is time.
    If it is something out dated and I still like it I keep it and peruse it, just like my old lady jeans. (smile)

    Anyway I downloaded my first ebook Jan 11, 2011 onto my ITOUCH using the Kindle Whispersync app. I had no desire to move into this “trend” because I was happy turning pages and my HTC then now Samsung Google phone does everything these ereaders were claiming to do. So why would I open myself to another data plan and expense for something I would use once in a while. So I waited the Galaxy excited me as did the Kindle but once again data plans duplication I was not going to do it. ………on November 15th my partner brought me the Kindle Fire and its ok but I’m still turning pages.

    I believe folks are waiting for lower prices and the product that suits their needs not trends. We all want the perfect product that suits our lifestyle.
    Thanks so much for the rant!

  6. Whoo hoo… Needed this rant. Feeling this.

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