In the midst of all these changes in publishing, it's the Verizon commercial that keeps coming to mind. It's the one with the can you-hear-me-now" guy.
At first, I couldn't quite figure out my obsession. And then I realized I was thinking, "Can you read me on that?" "Can you read me on that?" every time one of my friends -- my very ordinary, non-techie friends -- pulled out another device.
I'm probably a bit obsessed with it -- that Verizon refrain keeps running through my head like a rendition of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall." But I'm a writer with absolutely NO books available on any other device, except for paper. And paper books no longer seem like they're doing a complete enough job of reaching readers.
This is mostly because the people pulling out the devices don't seem like egg-heads, early adaptors, gotta-have-the-latest gadget type folks. I tell you, whatever is going on seems solidly in the mainstream to me, and I'm pretty sure my books are being missed.
For instance, one of my friends -- a mom -- got her first smartphone a month ago. (And to emphasize her non egghead status: Before this, she just had a cell phone -- like for making phone calls, and that's all.) But this year, when her contract ended, she chose an Android smartphone and she raves about the thing. She loves the apps. She loves that she can take photos with her camera. She was very excited that she could get the Kindle app. "Is your book on the Kindle?" she asks me.
Smartphones must be the perfect gadget for busy moms, right?
This winter, the Minneapolis Star and Tribune published this article: "Older Readers Kindle Fondness for e-readers". An 82 year old and a 67 year old loving their e-readers. Any book you want in large print. You don't have to carry all those books from the bookstore, the library. And if the weather is bad, don't risk it.
And what about the religious? I've noticed that a lot of Christians like e-readers because they can travel with their bible and devotions and lots of books to read. An example is Noel Piper, wife of John Piper, of Desiring God Ministries. And it's not just the Christians -- people of many faiths want to keep their sacred texts with them and have good literature to read on the commuter train.
You're seeing it too, right? I'd love to hear your stories.
Anyway, all this to say that if I have an opportunity to get my book in a digital format, I'll do it. And I'd like it in multiple formats for multiple devices -- Kindle, epub, ipad, iphone, and print-on-demand (in paper) seem like a minimum. (Please tell me what I'm missing.)
As a writer, my first goal is this: to be read, to be found, to be available.
Can you read me now?
P.S. Photo is of a spot along the Cumbria Way in England. Honestly, if you're doing a long walk across England, it's probably best not to be found. Unplugging is good.