I don’t mind a bit. It seems right to me that my Kindle should look like my paper books – well-used and a bit tattered from being carted about hither and yon. I’ve had it for coming up on three years now and I still love it.
Last night we did drinks and dinner with another couple to celebrate David’s birthday and the gal was asking me about my experiences with e-publishing. She wanted to know if I *could* get paper copies of my books. I told her it varies with my contracts, but I vaguely recall that the Carina contract promises me some bound paper copies for promotional purposes, but I’d have to look at it again to be sure. And, if the book sells well or seems likely to do well in print, they have the right to do that. Which is why they call it “digital-first” publishing.
“But if you ever decided to have these books published, you could, right?” she asked.
“They are published,” I tell her.
“Right. But if you wanted to have them really published, so you could hand a copy to your mother or something – could you do that?”
I didn’t mention that my lovely mother has a Kindle of her own.
It will be interesting to see how long this notion of “really published” lasts. She seemed to think I’d be longing for the validation of a print book. And, to be fair, I know plenty of authors – especially ones looking to get their first book published – who really want that. They make what I think are dubious decisions between publishing houses, because they want print books, too.
This is not something I care about.
I have a print book. (Wyoming Trucks, True Love and the Weather Channel) It’s very pretty; it has many stars on Amazon. Book resellers will nearly pay you to take it. I’ve sold in the neighborhood of twice as many copies of Petals and Thorns, which apparently doesn’t really exist, as they ever printed of Wyoming Trucks.
If that sounds like I’m bitter, I’m really not. It’s all well and good to have a hardbound university press book and have people say lovely things to you about it. But having people actually read what I write is far more rewarding.
It doesn’t get any more real than that.