Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Why Hidden Tiger is an ebook

I have been asked - by those without an e-reader - to publish Hidden Tiger as a print book. They have heard it is exciting, that I had adventures, returned feeling older but maybe no wiser. (Well, yes, wiser - I'll never creep up on a tiger again ...)

Firstly, I must thank all those who have said wonderful things about my little ebook. There is nothing more encouraging than knowing someone has read and enjoyed one's work - especially those outside family and friends who have no reason to be kind.

And I do understand those who, on hearing all this, are asking for a print book. I can only say - I'm sorry. I was away for just one month - long enough for a few excitements, but not long enough to fill all the pages of a 'proper book', given that reading what I ate for breakfast or the spider that scuttled across the floor and into my shoes in the mountains is of limited interest.

This little ebook is only 78 pages long - if I were to print it there'd be barely room on the spine for the title. It would be a flimsy little book, an apology for a book - but, because of the cost of printing I would have to charge you almost as much as I do for Over the Hill. If you ordered it from Amazon, you would open the cardboard wrapper and find such a puny offering you would look beyond it - it must be a mistake, this book is too thin. You have paid all that money, you might say, for a pamphlet.

But short ebooks work. I can sell it cheaply, as it costs nothing to produce; and so you are less likely to complain about the lack of extra pages.

Which leaves those of you with no ereader feeling left out? By now I am grovelling with an apology - but it remains uneconomic to produce a print book. But if you wait ... it's just possible that I'll write more. After all, I'm off to Thailand and Laos after Christmas, and still have dreams of making it to Madagascar. If I get two more ebooks out of those trips, then I promise to put them together in a print book. And might even negotiate a special price for anyone who has asked me very nicely at this stage to print Hidden Tiger. Does that help? (And Over the Hill is still available as a print book, in case you haven't read it yet - or know someone you'd like to send it to for Christmas.)

9 comments:

  1. Jo, I totally understand what you are saying here, but I wonder if I can make a suggestion to some of your readers here. As one of those who doesn't have an e-reader, I was lucky to be able to read your book on my laptop. Kindle and Adobe both have programmes you can download for free to a laptop or computer so that you can get Kindle and other e-pub books to read this way if you really want them. It's an alternative to an e-reader that makes it possible to get Kindle books.

    My other small suggestion is for you. I see you publish on Lulu.com. If you get requests from people for the real book, maybe you can arrange for a real book version on Lulu that people can just go and buy for themselves if they really want it. I know the downside is that you have to buy one for yourself, but if you were to do that, I would definitely be a customer :) It's the sort of book I would buy several of to give as presents, which is something difficult to do with an e-book.

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    1. Sorry Val, I didn't see your comment when I wrote mine so I have repeated some of the advice you gave.

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  2. Also, people don't have to have an e-reader to enjoy digital books from Amazon as they can download a free programme that converts their PC, laptop, mobile phone into an e-reader for the

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  3. Thank you both - I should, of course, have included a comment about reading books on laptops and smart phones.

    And I take your point, Val - I could do a small book with Lulu. I'll think about it - it still bothers me that I would have to charge £5 or so, for something that can be read in 2-3 hours. I pay less than half of that for my newspaper on a Saturday, and it takes much longer to read thoroughly. It feels like a lot of money for something so short. (And there is always Over the Hill as a real book, if you want to give a book as a present!)

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    1. I would still buy it, I really would :)

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  4. I've just ordered Over the Hill! Looking forward to reading it now!

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    1. Enjoy! - at least I hope you will.

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  5. By the way, Jo, how do you get the reply option on the comments. I'd love to have that on my comment page, but can't figure out how to do it. I'm a bit of a dumbo when it comes to these things.

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    1. I've no idea, Val - maybe I did something clever in 'settings' (if you fiddle around you'll find that) without realising it.

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