Remember when everyone thought ebooks would replace physical books? Me neither

A tweet today reminded me of a topic I’ve wanted to get off my chest for some time now:

To answer Kessler’s question, no, I do not remember any moment in time when authors and publishers (or even readers) thought ebooks would replace paper books.

I’ve seen and heard this claim so often I can only conclude some massive rewiring of collective memory has beset our culture. There never was any serious wave of self-congratulatory back-patting in the publishing world, never a moment when all involved parties joined their voices and spoke in unity about the demise of physical books. It never happened.

A Google search of “ebooks will replace physical books” discovers exactly one (1) entry on the front page advocating for such a change—and that page is a summary of a debate from a Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance conference in 2015. An august association, I suppose, but not a representative body for all “#authors and #publishers.”

The remainder of the Google search is an object lesson in Betteridge’s Law: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” The Google search results include:

As Betteridge predicted, all of these missives declare paper-based books will never die, even though their authors drop in the usual journalistic escape-hatch clauses admitting, yeah, okay, ebooks are here to stay. From the way these writers discuss the issue, you would think there’s zero latitude for personal reading preferences. The mere existence of ebooks is treated as a mortal threat to the traditional form.

Since I publish ebooks, some people seem to presume I’m a kind of cultish advocate for end-of-lifeing paper-based books. I’ve even lost friends over the topic. Only about 50% of my reading diet is digital, the remainder being physical books which I cherish. You can purchase my latest book in paper-form, and I’d be more than delighted if you did.

Look again at Kessler’s tweet; there’s a subtle discrimination packed inside it. Ebooks aren’t “real” books, a frustrating non-distinction for many struggling writers. It’s 2017, the 21st century. Indie music acts sell their songs only online; Netflix and Hulu produce award-winning shows only available via streaming; and yet authors who distribute digitally aren’t writing authentic books. A hundred years ago paperbacks were sneered down on as not “real.” Today the distinction seems quaint.

A nickel’s worth of unsolicited advice to those who prefer physical books: Keep reading and keep buying, but by all means, quit ginning up outrage over a nefarious trend that never happened.

Bridge Daughter on sale for 99¢

Kindle Scout is celebrating its 2nd anniversary this month! To mark the occasion, the entire Kindle Scout catalog will be on sale for $0.99 from March 20th to April 3rd.

This sale includes Bridge Daughter, so if you’ve not picked up a copy for yourself or a friend, now is the time!

And check here for more Kindle Scout books from a variety of authors, from science fiction to mystery to contemporary.

Bridge Daughter on sale for 99¢ all December

Bridge Daughter by Jim NelsonGo ahead, open before Xmas: As part of Amazon’s “120 Kindle books” promotion, Bridge Daughter is on sale the entire month of December for the bargain price of 99¢!

Jump straight to Bridge Daughter on Amazon to take advantage of this deal or visit Amazon’s “120 Kindle books” to see all books priced at 99¢. (Sale ends December 31st.)

“Thought-provoking story blends action, introspection, and social commentary.” – Publishers Weekly

“Intelligent, gripping, and hard to put down.” – The Drifting Paige

“My favourite novel of 2016.” – Katherine Hayton, author of The Three Deaths of Magdalene Lynton and Breathe and Release

Bridge Daughter now available as Kindle ebook and paperback

Bridge Daughter by Jim NelsonKindle Scout Winner Bridge Daughter is now available from Kindle Press!

Early reviews for Bridge Daughter are already coming in:

“Hauntingly beautiful…a disturbing view of an alternate America where children bear their parents’ children for them.” – K. McCutchen, 4-star Amazon review

I was invested in this story from the first page to the last.” – , 5-star Amazon review

I read it with tears rolling down my face.The story will stick with you long after you’ve read the last page.” – RPurvis, 5-star Amazon review

“…makes you think about love, children, and morality. How do you give birth to and raise a daughter until she is 14, only for her to give birth to your ‘real’ child and then die?” – Leah Labbe, 4-star Goodreads review

Remember, if you nominated Bridge Daughter on Kindle Scout, you should have received an email from Amazon with information on how you can obtain your free early copy.

Click here to order your copy of Bridge Daughter

Bridge Daughter now available for pre-order

Final release date: Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Bridge Daughter by Jim NelsonPurchase your digital copy of Bridge Daughter now for $2.99 and have it automatically downloaded to your Kindle on June 7th.

A paperback edition will be available shortly after June 7th. (Keep watching my web site for details or sign up for my mailing list.)

If you nominated Bridge Daughter on Kindle Scout, you should have received an email from Amazon with information on how you can obtain your free early copy.

And thank you for the nomination! You’re the reason Bridge Daughter is being published.

Image

Bridge Daughter paperback proof

The paperback proof of Bridge Daughter arrived on Thursday. I am, as the kids say, majorly stoked:

Bridge Daughter by Jim Nelson Bridge Daughter by Jim Nelson

The paperback will be published through Amazon’s CreateSpace service. I must say, I’m impressed with what I’m seeing with this proof. I picked up a CreateSpace sample book a few years ago (at an AWP) and something about it didn’t “feel” right. This copy, however, looks and feels great. The cover photo is vibrant, the interior print is even and crisp across the page, and the binding feels firm. Print-on-demand technology had its problems when it was introduced, but it appears the technology has stabilized since then.

Still awaiting word from Kindle Press on the novel’s pre-release and release dates, which drives the availability of the ebook and paperback. I’ll be announcing those dates here on my blog as well as on my mailing list and Facebook page.