Tuesday, February 2, 2016

P-books Vs. E-books?

Hello everyone,

Today, I want to write about "P-books" Vs. "E-books." (I just came up with "P-books" as I started writing this post, lol, and it's "P" as in Physical or Print.)

I actually just watched a video on Channels Book Club, titled "Reading Preferences Of Urban Nigeria In Their 20's" (watch HERE.) And two young people, an author (William Moore) and a writer/blogger (Cherlene Chikezie), were interviewed to comment on what is going on today in the world of readers, especially in Nigeria; what everyone is reading, and what the reading preferences of the younger generation are.

It was interesting to see that they both took one side: One took the "I'm all for P-books, ban all the E-books out there" front, while the other took the "E-books, please, burn all the P-books" front. In my opinion, from their responses, coupled with their present categories, it was "sort of" obvious why they had picked either side.

First of all, the author picked "all for P-books," which is normal, given that he is a published author, so he needs his books to be in the hands of many readers or to be in their libraries. He will also love to sign/autograph his books, something that won't be possible if there are no P-books out there. (Well, there's e-signature now, but that's another story.)

Some authors, my self included, are not completely satisfied if they can't hold a copy of their own hard work; they won't be satisfied if at least ONE person doesn't hold their book and say "New addition to my ever-growing library" or "I just read this book." It's part of the process, the part where you feel accomplished as an author... and P-books will bring that ultimate feeling.

As for the writer/blogger, her audience is online, so naturally she will pick E-books or anything digital. She isn't thinking of printing her blog posts and selling to her audience, around the world, so she will need them to always stay connected online. If she wants to look for new or hot topics to blog about, she's looking for them online; if she is looking for DIY tutorials or anything to boost her blog, still online... on her tablet or phone, so what is she doing with p-books?

If roles were changed between the author and the blogger, I'm sure they would have picked opposite sides of the argument; the side that benefits and satisfies them. This just boils down to: irrespective of the generation, people will pick what is more beneficial to them in terms of costs, preferences and their current situation.

If a young person can't afford a tablet or a smart-phone, he/she will consciously get anything print. If this same young person doesn't have data for downloads, or international debit cards for online payments, he/she will breeze into a bookshop, or any bookshelf and look for something to read. If this same person can afford both options, then he/she will definitely get both, depending on needs.

I'm still in my 20's (although gradually heading out, lol), but I have a different understanding of the relationship between P-books and E-books. They shouldn't be an alternative to the other, but they should complement each other. So my side on the debate is a "mid-point" of both aspects. While I absolutely LOVE P-books and an ever-growing library, I also LOVE E-books. I prefer P-books while I'm at home or in a relaxed environment, not in motion, and would enjoy E-books while I'm on the road or travelling.

This simply means that I would rather have both... some people will ask: Why waste your money and buy both? And I would say, "I buy the things that I like, so it's not 'wasting' my money, to me."

There are tons of E-books out there, which might never get to print because of various reasons: funds, difficulty getting a publishing deal, stress attached to being a self-published author with P-books, ease of marketing E-books than P-books, less risks, etc., so the percentage of E-books to P-books is enormous.

So people, like me, will read some E-books, and the books they LOVE, they'll look out for the print versions and keep them in their libraries. I can have about 10,000 E-books, some of which I may NEVER read, but in my library, I'll have only books I want to read, I have read, I can re-read, and I can give out to others. I have feasted on P-books in my parents' and my sister's libraries, and while I'm gradually growing mine, I want to be able to have new and different books for them to also feast on. And not just them, but friends too.

If the goal of a writer/author is to reach a wider audience, then it's best to use both platforms, because you can never know where your audience is, at a given period of time. They may be walking into a bookstore or may be surfing the web... you'll never know. And for authors/writers, depending on if you are traditionally or self-published, and if funds allow you, then by all means explore both options.

William and Cherlene talked about the future of books and reading: after P-books and E-books, what next? The next thing has already come: A-books (audio books).

What is your own take on the subject? I would love to know.

Literarily Yours,

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