Is An E-Book Still A Book?

There has been an issue weighing on my mind lately. As a writer, it’s important to me so that I know how to achieve my goal of being published once again. Because I am really wrapped up in my Forever Gothic series, I want to find the *perfect* publishing house or literary agent. Even if I had an agent and self-published, I think I could promote well with someone to assist me and who can use their contacts in the book world and maybe I can get a leg up in the world of YA supernatural.

However, as I thought about it, I was a bit saddened. At my age, I always thought I’d live to see my books published. That is, in a book. An actual, tangible, page-riddled book! Now, I’m not so sure. I thought back on how my local library some years ago acquired a set of computers, and how so many people would be utilizing the free Internet service instead of browsing the book section. Card catalogs went from those little drawers with cards on them to computers. I remember in my elementary school days when we had to learn to use them. And now, they are no more. I wonder if any libraries still have them.

And now, with the closing of Borders, I wonder what this means for writers and readers. Will Kindle take over? Will we one day step into classrooms where everyone has a Kindle to read their Textbooks? Will manuals and catalogues someday only be available through e-book? And will I ever see my beloved characters in a hardcover edition?

What I truly want is for my work to be seen by as many people as possible, whether it’s paperback or Kindle. To me, that is a small detail as far as work goes. When someone tells me they love my work, it gives me a little thrill. It makes me think, “Hey, this wasn’t all for nothing!” Someone actually took the time to let me know my writing is being appreciated, even if it is from a small group. And that’s what makes my heart flutter. And maybe one day I will even be able to live my dream and be on Tyra to promote my beloved characters.

However, with this shift in technology, I wonder what it means for the publishing world as an entity and where my future stands as a writer. And for the first time ever, I find myself contemplating a future without books. Will e-books ever really be the same?

3 Comments on “Is An E-Book Still A Book?”

  1. Anthony says:

    Speaking as a reader (of books), I prefer electronic literature, including e-books, over their paper based predecessors. For one thing, a collection of e-novellas don’t take up much space and they are quite portable. It is much easier to transport a 1-2 pound notepad computer library from place to place than it is to move a collection of books around. Additionally, assuming an individual maintains his/her on-line service or download the necessary computer updates, that person won’t have to worry about misplacing books or losing them in a fire, flood, or due to wear and tear. One caveat, as e-publishing becomes the norm, it will become more difficult for people to save money via buying second-hand books. This will be problematic for some; however, I think the pros outweigh the cons on this issue.

    While the shift to e-publishing will make it easier for people like myself to carry and store volumes, that is not the chief reason that I prefer electronic media. Rather, by using the computer keypad, I can easily locate specific passages or topics when perusing an e-book, which compares against the vast amounts of time I have to spend flitting from page to page to find specific passages in paper-bound copies. As such, it is much easier and efficient for me (and for anyone) to research papers, projects, and other things using electronic media. That being said, you and other authors might also eventually come to prefer e-publishing.

    I can posit numerous reasons why an author would prefer an e-publishing platform over a paper-based one; however, for the sake of brevity, I will only mention one reason here. Namely, an e-book writer has more freedom to create a dynamic, interactive literary piece. With a book, the author’s views/visions are limited by the linear, one-dimensional nature of the medium. In an e-book, the author can include videos in the novel, or he/she can create multiple endings (letting the reader choose the ending). Perhaps most importantly, the writer can easily go back and update the volume if new information comes to light. This is particularly important for science fiction writers, as many of their views/ideas/background which are feasible/logical this year will become outdated/impossible in a few years (given the pace of scientific progress).

    • Wow! Thanks so much for taking the time to post! As far as saving money from second-hand books (which can sometimes be acquired for a little bit of nothing in outlets that are non-book specific like garage sales), it seems e-books are often cheaper. But, I could be quite mistaken on that.

      And I really dig the freedom e-books and self-publishing can give an author.

      Thanks so much for sharing your opinion with me. As a writer, it helps me see market trends among readers 😀

      PEACE!!! And Happy Holidays! 😀

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