Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Where do we buy books?

"What booksellers have lacked, to date, is the ability to cost effectively engage with their customers in the mobile / digital arena." (A quote I read recently.)

In other words, where are we going to be buying our books? For me, it’s usually a case of Amazon or bust. I buy the usual things (Easy Reads or similar) from supermarkets but digital formats, we mostly buy using the easiest way. One could go to specific websites and buy them directly from the publishers but it seems to me that Amazon has the edge for downloading them. For me it’s single click and it appears on my iPad a few seconds later. No passwords, no fuss. I must admit, I don’t always finish them using this form of media, as I’ll begin something else (in paper format) and get hooked on that.

But, for many of us with publishing e-books now filling our time, perhaps this is where our future lies. Self publishing on Kindle seems to be very popular and is very successful for some of us. It is made as easy as possible to do, with on-line instructions available. I put up several of mine a while back and have sold a few but never bringing in mega bucks, like some folks do. I wonder how many are sold this way compared to the many other websites? There are other hassles involved too, with overseas sales. Getting the elusive ITIN to receive payment from USA seems to be a major problem.

How many of us do choose to use kindle, tablet, mobile phone or similar methods for reading? I know several people who do have appliances to read but many of them also use the more traditional method. I am planning a holiday in January so am building a collection of books to read during that time, on my iPad. This holiday will be a testing time for me!

Though I’d like to continue to buy from shops, for me it is increasingly difficult to actually get there. Our little local(ish) shop has now closed so increasingly, one has to rely on supermarkets or on-line shops. With this and all the library closures, it is not a good outlook for us, particularly with large print. It also represents a decline in possible other markets.

But, as long as we can, I believe all of us Pocketeers will still be writing our words for them, as long as they are accepted!


  1. Hi Chrissie, doesn't your cover look wonderful! I feel that in the future there will be all sorts of markets. Where indy bookshops are run in an enterprising way with events like signings and jollys for people to attend they will survive. Also when the economic upturn comes more bookshops will reopen I feel as nothing beats wandering around, feeling and being surrounded by books. That said, I find my IPAD very usefu for reading on planes, in cars and when my husband's trying to nap. So, horses for courses I guess.

  2. It's a shame so many bookshops are closing, but it's so easy to download e-books. We use a mix of e-books and traditional. Having read your post we've realised that we're much more likely not to finish an e-book and we wonder why not. As writers it's more satisfying to see our work as books in shops/libraries than just a front cover of an e-book.

  3. I'm behind the times - I don't have an E-Reader of any sort and don't yet feel the urge to get one (perhaps that will change). I love reading actual hardback and paperback books and frequent my library every week. I know the staff and get greeted like a friend when I'm there. Our local bookshop closed recently but I'll buy at supermarkets and on Amazon. I do love to read before I buy and I'll be devastated if Glasgow Waterstones ever closes - here I can buy coffee and cake and sit in their cafe perusing the books before buying. How civilized!

  4. I have a kindle e reader which I take on holiday as it uses less space. I also read 'proper' books. I viit the library. I buy books from bookshops and the supermarket. I download ebooks. I think it's a case of if the cap fits. I enjoy reading no matter what form it takes.


  5. Hello.
    I just received information from DC Thomson that the Bridges and Knights series has been cancelled by the company! :(

    Not fair..

    1. Please ... who are you? Who actually told you about this?

    2. Hello, I am a subscriber of My Weekly Pocket novels and The People´s friend pocket novels from Spain. I have been visiting this blog for a year or so.

      I received this information from a DTC Sales Excutive. This is part of the email I got last friday:

      "Well there has been a further development in this saga, the Bridges and Knights series has been cancelled by our company. We only found out about this last week. As you know you just paid for a years subscription for this so what I will do is refund the full amount back onto your card and it should appear back on your statement within 21 days."

      If you want to know the name of the person who told me that please include an email address I could write to.

      I am very shocked and sad hearing these news. :(

    3. Thank you very much for your reply. We too are all pretty shocked at hearing the news. I am if you want to write to me personally!

    4. Thanks for this information, Soapfan. And for posting it on my blog too. I've emailed Maggie to ask but she's away till 3rd December, so it'll be a while before we hear. It's such a pity as the Easy Reads were lovely looking and I don't think they've had nearly enough time to build up an audience.

  6. I have a Kindle and use it for reading in bed - lighter to hold than a hard copy book. I read paperbacks during the day, over lunchtime for example. Overall, I still prefer a book in my hands to read but the Kindle is so much easier and lighter for travelling. I purchase most ebooks on Amazon but sell most of my own ebooks via Smashwords who cater for all types of e-readers including Kindle.
    As an author, I sell my own paperbacks on Amazon and after browsing for books there for myself to read, I usually buy from The Book Depository because they're invariably cheaper. But I agree with others, it's getting thinner on the ground to be able to go out and physically shop for a book in print. So many bookshops are closing because of online bookstores and shopping overall. That said, whatever format novels/books take in the future, they'll still be for sale and, as authors, we will continue to love writing them.


  7. That's quite a shock, Soapfan, but I did wonder if something was going on. I have two crime novels with Maggie at moment. If the Easy Reads series has been cancelled I'm wondering how this news will affect their prospects.
    Chrissie, I'm loving Cornish Killing. xx

    1. Thank you Rena, I'm so pleased someone is reading it! Better still if they are enjoying it too!

  8. The Easy Reads cancellation by D C Thomson is astonishing. Quote from, October 18:

    "A four-stories romance and crime series is being launched today by DC Thomson, the Dundee-based newspapers, magazines and comics publisher.

    "The Bridges & Knight comprises two romance and two crime titles every month. Priced at £1.99 each, the titles are being described by the publisher as “a new handbag-size fiction series”.

    "Adds DC Thomson: “The series is DC Thomson’s first major launch this year, and demonstrates the company’s commitment to innovation.”

    Allmediascotland also quoted Maggie Seed as follows:

    “The series will allow us to satisfy the desire for compelling fiction amongst magazine readers and entice new readers. They complement DC Thomson’s existing magazine portfolio. Bridges & Knight Easy Reads are the result of a close collaboration between our editorial, circulation and operations teams and I’m absolutely delighted with the results.”

    So what on earth went wrong in little more than a month? In past times, Thomson were famed in publishing circles for their caution in launching new titles, jumping on bandwagons long after publishers had set them rolling. This applied to most of their bygone periodicals (story papers, pocket libraries and comics) for both women and children from the 1920s onward. And once they'd launched something it was allowed a very generous run before it was dropped. Look at The Dandy!

    Has anyone the inside story on this seeming fiasco of a title actually having to be reinstated only a couple of months after it was closed? Is this a "first"? Also, can anyone explain who or what were "Bridges & Knight"?

    1. Maggie Seed is away from her desk this week., Nobody else seems to know anything. We all await her return next week. I hope to speak to her on Monday!
      It does seem strange to all of us after such an announcement.

    2. Anon, Bridges & Knight was the name of the imprint DC Thomson set up especially for the Easy Reads line. Maybe they wanted to get away from the My Weekly brand, which has cosier connotations.

      The latest news is that Easy Reads are going, but Maggie Seed is happy to look at novels aimed at that line with a view to publishing them as pocket novels.