If you’ve been hanging around here for any length of time, chances are good that you know how I feel about ebooks. And with the recent announcement that Borders has declared bankruptcy, I am more concerned than ever about the fate of brick-and-mortar bookstores.
I work for an inbound marketing company, and our entire strategy is based around the fact that traditional modes of advertising (e.g., printed and televised) are no longer as effective as they once were. People hate being interrupted by annoying commercials during their favorite shows — so they fast forward through them. They hate that their mailboxes are full of junk advertising — so they throw it all away. The purpose of inbound marketing is to produce free content that is helpful to your prospective customers, and then make sure that that content can be found in search engine results. The point is to be available when your prospects are searching for you, not to shove advertising down their throats.
So I spend most of my time writing, promoting, and advocating online content; but when it comes to reading, I’m a purist. So does it make me a hypocrite that I’ve purchased an ebook?
What led to my purchase (mistake?)
Thanks to a generous individual I know, I recently received a free iphone 3. When I visited the App store to check out the Listography app, I was asked if I wanted to download the iBooks app at no charge. What actually sold it for me was the fact that I got a free copy of Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, and who turns down a free book that they’ve been wanting to read anyway?
I wasn’t actually intending to do much with the app, but when I went to Barnes and Noble over the weekend, they didn’t have available any of the books for which I was looking. These weren’t obscure titles either: Castle’s Naked Heat, The Exile (a graphic novel retelling of Gabaldon’s Outlander), and Snyder’s Poison Study. All new books, all mainstream. So why was I only able to order them online?
Duck and cover
That damn iBooks app was looking more and more tempting, not only because I found that Poison Study was available, but because the book cost under $10.00 — and I could start reading as soon as it finished downloading. It was just too much temptation.
So I bought my first ebook, and now I feel a little dirty. On the up side, though, my money was not spent in vain — I’m really enjoying Poison Study.
But are the Reading Gods just waiting to strike me down for making a deal with the ebook devil?
What do you think about ebooks and ereaders? Have you ever violated one of your rules about reading? Did you feel dirty, too?