by Raelene Gorlinsky
I've got hundreds of unread print books on my TBR shelves, there is no more room left. So I made a conscious decision last month that I would buy only digital books from now on. Well, I tried...
I just assumed all the books I want would be available in digital format. Those of us in the epub industry and those readers who are heavily into digital tend to forget that many publishers are not yet with us. The big publishers still often delay the release of the digital version of new books until later than the print release (especially for hardcover books). And although they talk about digitizing their backlist, they are still nowhere near getting any significant portion actually available in ebook format.
What happened with the twelve books on my "buy" list last month? The list was a mix of new releases and older (but not more than three years old), fiction and nonfiction, well-known and new authors. To my surprise and annoyance, only FOUR of the twelve books were available in e. Those four were all new fiction releases that were also available in mass market paperback. And one of the ebooks was available only on Kindle; sorry, I buy ePub format. So I was able to get only 25% of my buy list as digital. I had to buy print for the rest.
This month looks like it may be almost as dissatisfying. I want to buy four books. One is available only in e, from a digital-first publisher, and I've bought it. Yay! One is a Harlequin category, not yet out, but I'm sure will be available in e. The other two--I don't know. One was a mass market release six months ago from a big NY publisher, but I haven't managed to find it in any digital format except Kindle. Hey, publisher, do you realize how much of the e market you are missing by not offering ePub and PDF? The other is an upcoming fiction hardcover, I don't have high hopes for a same-release-date ePub digital version.
I'll keep trying--when possible, I'll buy an ebook instead of a print book. But looks like I'm going to have to find more space on those TBR shelves.
What's your experience? What percentage of the books you buy are digital versus print? If you can't find it in digital, do you buy print or refuse to buy?