I’m all for the digital revolution. I quickly adapted to online banking, online shopping, and any other activity that enabled me to skip long lines and exhausting trips all over town. As a virtual assistant, I reveled in the introduction of new collaborative technology. Couldn’t get enough of it. So, as a huge collector of music and books, you’d think I would’ve quickly embraced digital music and books.
You’d be wrong.
Instead, I was one of those curmudgeons who insisted that I’d never switch to digital music and e-readers. I cherished my stacks of CDs, my bookcases with bowed shelves, overflowing with books. So the idea of digital music and books did not appeal to me. I loved the feel of a book in my hand, the sense of accomplishment as I turned each page, then finally closed the book. How could I possibly get that warm feeling from a digital file?
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It isn’t the manner of delivery that matters most. It’s the content.
Slowly, I began to adapt. I purchased an MP3 here, another there. Eventually I purchased–gasp!–an entire digital album. Yet, I still wasn’t ready to embrace digital books.
It was a raging discussion about why an author had ended her long relationship with her publisher and gone indie that lured me in. In that post, the author mentioned that her e-book was currently available free. I wanted to read it, but I didn’t have an e-reader. So I downloaded Kindle for PC and started to read the book. I LOVED it. The story was fantastic, but there was another love affair in bloom. I was beginning to see the merits of the e-book. Once I moved to a smartphone (fought that tooth and nail, too) with its Kindle app, I was totally hooked.
I do still occasionally read physical books. However, 95% of the books I read are digital. And as an author, 100% of my books are digital. This presented another challenge for this analog girl. What do I give to readers at reader events? Bookmarks don’t feel like a good match for this e-book author. What about signing books? How on earth would I do that?
I did find two great solutions to signing books. The first is the Authorgraph program which allows me to send readers a personalized signature. The other is the Keeper Kase™ Card Program–a simple, but brilliant idea launched by author Dianna Love. (Thank you for the recommendation, Caren Crane!) Readers can request a signed, personalized book cover (4×6 postcard) in person or via mail.
I posed the questions about reader giveaways on a couple of author loops and got some wonderful ideas from fellow Carina Press authors and authors in my local RWA group. However, I’d love to hear more from both writers and readers. As a e-book author, what do you give out to readers who attend live events? As a reader, what are the most useful or memorable items you’ve received at a live reader event?