When I tell people I’ve recently published a vampire romance, they usually want to read it (or at least they’re polite enough to pretend that they do). They ask where they can buy a copy, only to look deflated when they learn that, at present, it’s in ebook form only. These are people who will while away whole weekends on Facebook, in chatrooms, or trolling eBay for bargains. Yet when it comes to ebooks, they won’t even spend five minutes activating a free download of Microsoft Reader (or learning that you can use it without officially activating it).
What’s odd about all this is that I keep hearing that ebooks are taking off everywhere, that ebooks sales have risen something like 175% since last year, and so on. I tend to believe that, since every bookstore now has its own reading device prominently showcased in the middle of the floor, and the number of ebook presses and titles keeps growing on the Web. So why are some otherwise adventurous bookworms reluctant to burrow into this new format?
One issue is the perception that ebooks aren’t “real” books. One friend told me that she read a paranormal romance that seemed not to have been edited or proofread at all. She also mentioned the short length of some titles, feeling that a good storyline should have been developed more (even though other people I asked complained that ebooks were “too long” to read on the screen.) Some people seem to think that there is no acceptance process, and that anyone can upload an ebook, or that authors pay the presses to produce their books. Having gone through the process, I can assure everyone that there are definitely rejections that the books are vigorously edited, and the authors do not pay their publishers (which is the way it should always be). Content-wise, I would say the ebooks can hold their own against the romances to be found in stores. The variety alone gives them an edge, in my opinion.
It also seems that some readers are afraid that they need a special, expensive handheld reader in order to enjoy ebooks. While those devices are appealing, I don’t have one of those special machines, and I have never had a problem opening an ebook file. Netbooks, handheld computers, and even some cell phones with large screens are all popular devices that can handle ebooks. They’re fun to use, too, and can be carried around almost as easily as a paperback book.
I suppose the main obstacle keeping ebooks from full acceptance among romance fans is the lack of a physical product. I’m one of those people who loves sorting through the sale bins at used bookstores, carting home a bunch of books to read, and possibly reselling them at a tag sale or on eBay, using the proceeds to buy new batches. Ebooks have no resale value, which is a concern in these tight economic times. Just this morning, though, I saw a bumper sticker that said it all: “We could have saved the Earth, but we were too damned cheap.” Ebooks are inexpensive, and require no trees to be cut down or trash dumps to hold the ones no one wants. For that reason alone, I hope that more people will give them a try. They don’t necessarily have to start with mine—though I certainly won’t discourage them!
Interested in reading a hot erotic vampire romance? Cassandra Pierce’s HEIRS TO DARKISLE, is currently available now from Siren-Bookstrand: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/cassandrapierce/
Synopsis: Sebastian and Ruby Morgan arrived in the small seaside town of Darkisle, claiming to be the grandchildren of the reclusive Edgar Morgan, who recently died at the age of 108.
From the beginning, Briana Dempsey has her doubts the Morgans are who and what they claim to be. She is, however, certain of one thing. Sebastian Morgan unnerves her in ways she's never experienced before. His skin is cold, his eyes are hypnotic, and he seems to have no heartbeat. Yet all she can feel when she's with him is an all-consuming fire that fills her with desire.
When a local woman is murdered and Briana is implicated because of her involvement with the Morgans, she must confront the truth about the mysterious man she has fallen in love with. Is he the lover of her dreams, or the architect of her nightmares?
Cassandra Pierce has been a fan of Gothic literature for most of her life, even studying the origins of the genre in college and graduate school. Before long, she got the urge to create paranormal romances of her own and is now hard at work on the second Darkisle novel. When she is not writing, she teaches English at a small New England college and is active in a charity that rescues and rehomes abandoned pets.