Thursday, December 9, 2010

Librarian Goodness, Romance eBooks, Unusual Historicals and TBR Challenge

Sarah from YA Librarian Tales has interviewed me over at her blog for a semi-regular feature she calls "Life Behind The Reference Desk." As you can probably deduce, it's me talking about my day job. It's a really nice interview - complete with Sarah flattering the hell out of me, and me waxing poetic on a variety of library-related topics. Go on over and take a gander.


There's an article today over at the New York Times all about the romance genre and ebooks featuring both Smart Bitch Sarah and Jane from Dear Author. I tend to gird my loins when the genre gets any sort mainstream media attention - going into the whole reading endeavor expecting the worst. It's just safer for my blood pressure that way. However, this is actually a really even-handed article (I thought) all about how romance readers have jumped on board the digital train in droves. The theory being that we have done so to hide the trashy cover art.

Now, while I think that's definitely part of the reason, I don't think it's the sole one. It's kind of hard to discount the whole "instant gratification" thing - also the desire to scoop up backlists that are "in print" for a nanosecond in paper, but have a longer life in digital formats (seriously, I love the way Harlequin handles their digital content. Love!)


I've tweeted about this, but want to mention it here as well. The Unusual Historicals blog is celebrating their blogiversary this week with a variety of giveaways. A lot of really great writers contribute over there, and it's one of my favorite author-driven blogs to visit (even if I am crap for commenting!). If you're a historical lover, I encourage you to check them out!


And hey! Don't forget you can now sign up for the 2011 TBR Challenge.


Carrie Lofty said...

Thanks for the shout-out, my dear! Much appreciated :)

Phyl said...

I've been thinking about the NYT article & I object to the emphasis on cover art driving me to my Kindle. Geez. Here's a thought: I can carry a gazillion books in my purse and I won't require back surgery for having done so.

And nice interview :-)

Wendy said...

You're welcome Ms. Carrie!

Phyl: I think the cover art is a valid reason, but definitely not the sole one. Honestly, doesn't storage play a big roll in it all? I don't buy Harlequin in print anymore because I can store a bazillion of them on my reader. No more running out of storage space for them in my apartment!

And some people objected to the "sexy read" reason - but honestly? It's true. Prior to getting my reader I ordered 99% of my erotica ONLINE from places like Amazon. Why? Easy access, wider availability, and no dealing with geeky, pimpley store clerks chuckling under their breath.....

Margaret Mallory said...

Just wanted to add my thanks, too, for mentioning the Unusual Historicals blog. As a history lover, I've really enjoyed being part of this group of authors.

Caro said...

I don't think it's because we want to hide the trashy cover art; did they ever consider not wanting to look at the really bad covers. The ones where we wonder what Marketing was thinking.

For me, it's the ease of storage and transportation. The iPad travels with me, the Kindle stays by the bedside and it's very easy to sync between one and the other so I don't have to get my book out of my bag or remember to put it back in. And if I finish a book, I've always got another one there.

Buriedbybooks said...

Hmm....I guess I'm in the minority. I'm not embarrassed by romance covers. Never have been.

But then, I don't read a ton of erotica, either.

The primary drivers for me w. ebooks and ereaders are storage and convenience.

My local bookstore doesn't stock romance. And I can get an ebook in seconds instead of waiting days for an online order to arrive.

I've always had a bit of a book storage issue, but my husband is buying me a Kindle in the hopes that it will cut down a bit on the clutter.

I'm never going to be a digital only reader. I like the physical paper books too much.

As for the carp image, it's a bit of an ugly metaphor, but probably accurate.

Wendy said...

Margaret: You are welcome! I do enjoy the blog - and love the "concept" behind it.

Caro: I do think the cover art thing has some validity, but I think it's the "storage issue" that is more a selling point for a lot of us. And given the sheer volume that a lot of romance readers read? Having that many books available to us on one (or more) devices is a big honkin' hairy deal.

Buried: Yes! Access! It's like discovering online booksellers for the first time, only with digital it's instant with no waiting. Selection, selection, selection.....

And a lot of people seem to unhappy with the carp comparison....but, I don't know...I'm just not. Of course, short of clubbing baby seals - not a whole lot gets me worked up these days.

nath said...

Hmmm, well I think that another reason why romance readers are going digital is because of the lack of space. I think it said in the article that romance readers bought on average 3 books/month... so that comes into play as well, perhaps even more so than the covers. I mean, hey, we survived the 80s right! Compared to that, today's covers aren't all that bad...

Wendy said...

Nath: I shudder to think what my storage space issues would be like if I was still buying Harlequins in print. Even so, the Bat Cave is close to bursting at the seams right now!