Our digital era

The advent of the e-reader has brought the world of books to an interesting place. I’ve gone back and forth myself, though I was never firmly in one camp or another. I enjoy the convenience of the e-reader: I can carry a series, better yet an entire library, in my bag with minimal bulk and weight. I can download new titles anywhere, their size makes it painless to set up a wifi hotspot on my phone and use my cellular data plan. I get recommendations directly on my home screen.

That said, nothing beats the feel of a paper book. There’s something reassuring about its heft, the feel as you turn pages, the smell of a new book or that more usual scent that comes with time. They look nicer lined up on a bookshelf, they add personality to your home. When you get excited after finishing something new, you can pass it on to a friend without considering whether their device is compatible with yours, or how to transfer the file.

In younger days, I foolishly got rid of a substantial portion of my physical collection because I was enamored with my Kobo. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but now that I’m no longer commuting two hours or more a day, I’ve mostly gone back to paper copies. I find myself in the position of purchasing copies of novels I’ve given away, taking particular care to dig through precarious stacks in used bookstores. My bookshelf is starting to look a bit disheveled, and I don’t really have space in my current home to get a second one, but I’m not letting that stop me.

The e-reader still has certain advantages. I expect when I finally have money to travel, I’ll want to load my Kobo up with enough reading material to keep me busy. I’ll just have to make sure to bring the appropriate cable to charge it; I’ve upgraded my cell phone, so it’s no longer the same USB plug. Maybe a few paperbacks and a graphic novel or two aren’t too heavy for my luggage, after all.

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The professional author

I have been doing a lot of research into this business of getting my book out there. I have the online channels covered for ebook distribution, but another aspect is the physical book. Bookstores aren’t dead yet, and I think it’s short-sighted to write them off. I’ve looked up a few bookstores in Montréal and even contacted one for details on their consignment policy.

business card address labels

With this in mind, I ordered business cards so that when I leave my book for bookstores to consider, I have a professional way of letting them get in touch with me with their decision. Granted, the book is number one, and I will put my sweat and tears into it to make it the absolute best it can be. I also want to present myself as a pleasant professional who would be a pleasure to work with. The cover of my book isn’t the only thing being judged, and I don’t want to walk in looking disheveled and scatterbrained, making them wonder if I’ll be able to deliver orders on time or be unreliable in getting back to their messages or phone calls.

I’m selling myself as much as I’m selling my book, and first impressions are quite important.