Shelley Aikens:  Hot, Steamy Erotica
At the library where I work, I've been getting more and more questions about ebooks.  Now with the Christmas season rolling relentlessly towards us, I'm anticipating even more questions. So what should my answers be? What have I noticed about ebooks? How do I feel about them? Pros & cons? How is it from an author's point of view?

When I wrote Overdue for Pleasure, I knew I wanted it to be published as an e-book, so I was delighted when Carina Press picked it up and offered to epublish it. Why? I suppose it was partly because I had just gotten my first ereader, so I was completely enamored with ebooks at the time, but it was also because I felt (and still feel) that erotica, romance, or really any "quick read" are perfectly suited for ereading.  And the instant gratification of buying an ebook from the comfort of your home and then reading it a minute later seems especially suited for erotica. Also, voracious readers of several books a week might appreciate not accumulating a huge pile of books at the end of the year and/or paying a bit less for the ebook versions. 

And then there are the other unexpected benefits of the ereader--best of all, in my opinion, is the one-handed read.  I can have my cat on my lap, a mug of tea in my hand, and the ebook resting on the arm of the chair, with no worries that the book will slip and I'll lose my place. Or reading while lying down in bed, which gets uncomfortable when you have to keep re-positioning the book, but with the ebook, it stays propped up in its original position for as long as I want.  Which is a suspiciously lazy-sounding reason to like ebooks, but so it is.

And of course there's the benefit that everyone knows about--being able to carry around an entire  library of books in a device the size of one skinny book.  That has been an invaluable benefit when I'm travelling, or even when I'm indecisive about what I feel like reading while I'm waiting at the dentist's office. 

A few cons, of course. More page turns per book, which can get slightly annoying for my thumb. Running out of power when you're in the middle of a good book and don't have anywhere to charge it (like if you're on a cross-country camping trip for a month, staying in rustic campgrounds with no electricity like I did this summer--I think I got through maybe one book before my old ereader died. Thank goodness my new ereader has much better battery life!) What else? Oh, reading in the bathtub or on the beach are off limits for my ereader, or rather for the clumsy person holding the ereader...

So on balance, I'd say that as a reader, I'm enthusiastic about ebooks. But unfortunately, because I work in a library and I'm constantly coming across so many great "old-fashioned" books to read, I still read the majority of my books in paper format.  

As an author, how do I feel about ebooks? Am I disappointed that I can't hold a physical book in my hands to show off to my friends and family and/or to sign for them? Not really. It feels pretty real to me.  Besides, this isn't the kind of book I'd want to give to most of my friends and family, so I don't mind not having paper copies to share with them.   I might be a bit disappointed that I don't have a copy to put on my shelf at the library, but maybe I can add it to the virtual shelves in our downloadable library instead.

So what do you think about ebooks? Like them? Love them? Feeling peer-pressured into trying them?   Let me know!