Saturday, July 14, 2012

Publishers Got to be "Down"

This post is going to be sweet and to the point, but then again, all of my posts get to the point (smile)! As most of you know, I’m an avid reader. There aren’t any subjects I haven’t read, so I love it all, much like my other first love, music. Of course, I have my favorite genres, (who doesn’t), but one thing is for sure, I have a direct message for publishers around the globe.

Plain and simple, if your book and/or music aren’t available for download, you have lost me as a customer!  As much as I totally abhorred the thought of purchasing some type of electronic device to house my books and music, I have to admit I am lost without them. There is nothing more aggravating than when I select books to read, and check Amazon to download them, only to discover, the publisher doesn’t offer it in a Kindle version.

Amazon has a little window beneath the book with a link that says, “Please tell the publisher you’d like to see this book in the Kindle bookstore” or something along those lines. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen this happen before. I’m like, ‘you can’t be serious?’ It seems if you select any books before the year 2000, good luck in finding it in the Kindle bookstore. So my question is what’s up with that?

When I published my first novel, I must admit I was still old school and went the paper route of publishing, but after having many of my fans ask me if it was also available for download, I had to act quickly. The bottom line is most people today use some type of eReader device whether it is a Kindle, Nook, etc.   If you’re an author, it is imperative that you have your books available for download, because if you don’t, not only are you losing sales, you’ve lost a reader almost permanently—especially this avid reader!

Do publishers realize there’s even more money to be made if they would take their old books and reformat them as downloadable reads? I find myself removing books from my list that I really and truly want to read because when I check to see if I may add them to my Kindle, I get that little link that pisses me off, and so therefore, that’s a book I refuse to read. Never in a million years would I have ever guessed I would refuse to read a book because it wasn’t available in the version in which I want it, but, at the end of the day, I love the fact that my home isn’t cluttered with so many books I either can’t give away or have someplace to put. I love my Kindle and the fact that my entire library goes with me wherever.

The same goes for my music. When I go to iTunes and a song isn’t available for download that usually tells me one of two things. Either the publisher hasn’t given permission to iTunes to release it, or iTunes hasn’t gotten around to placing it in the music store for it to be downloaded. I have all of my music in my iPod, and even though I’ve spent a small mint on converting my vinyl to cassettes to CDs and now to my iPod, I love that wherever I go, my entire music collection goes with me. So, if something isn’t available, guess what, I cross it off my list.

If anyone would have told me that one day I would be sold on the whole electronic devices housing all my books and music, I would have told them flat out they were a bold face liar. Well, I can’t say that because I’m truly in love with my Kindle and iPod and would be extremely lost without them. So in essence, publishers, I would strongly suggest you make your books and music available for download because like I said, you won’t have me as a customer, and I’m pretty sure there are others out there who feel the same way.

 Note to Publishers: Think of all the sales you could have, if you just took the time to reformat books, or iron out whatever differences the recording artists and record companies have! It would be a win-win for everyone, especially for customers like me who download several times a day!  Publishers you've got to be 'Down'-load-able!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
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