The E-Future of Young Adult Books by Jo Ramsey
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When I was growing up, we had books. They were made of paper and had pages you could turn with a finger. New ones sometimes smelled a little strange; old ones sometimes smelled a little musty. But they were a lot of fun to read.
Nowadays, print books still exist, but there are other options. With the wide availability of e-reading devices, e-books are becoming more common by the day. Some publishers are rushing to release e-versions of print books from years ago, and some publishers offer print and e-books simultaneously for their new releases.
A recent report on CNN stated that the best-selling genre for e-books is romance. I don’t know how e-book sales sort out after that. Since I write young adult fiction, I am of course interested in how YA e-books sell. My publisher is one of the ones that releases print and e-books at the same time, so both are available for my Reality Shift series. Looking at the bestseller list on my publisher’s site, it looks like the e-copy of Connection, Reality Shift book 1, is selling somewhat better than the print version, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that YA e-books are going to generally sell better than print.
I’ve spoken with a number of teenagers who say they prefer print books. More kids have e-reading devices now than in the past, but even the kids who have them sometimes would rather read a print version than an e-version. I definitely don’t think that e-books are going to kick print books out of the market any time soon.
For authors and publishers, the biggest advantage of e-books over print is that e-books cost less to produce, and authors often receive higher royalties—or at least a higher percentage of the cover price as a royalty—than they do for print. However, I don’t know of any e-only YA publishers (that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, just that I don’t know about them), nor are any of the publishers I am familiar with planning on switching to e-books only.
If you’re self-publishing, it might be worth doing e-books only. There’s been a lot of buzz around the internet lately about an author or two who are making thousands or more by selling YA e-books. But just like not every print book is going to sell as well as Harry Potter or Twilight, not every e-book is going to sell thousands or millions of copies. Self-publishers, though, might find e-books more cost-effective.
I’m published by a publisher, Jupiter Storm, so the choice of print books, e-books, or both isn’t mine to make. The publisher is planning to continue offering both print and e-books as far as I know. And that’s what I would advise if I were asked for advice. Even though e-books might be less expensive to produce, there are still a lot of people who’d rather read a print book. So I think both are good options.
Stressed about her parents’ separation and worried about what it will mean for her, Shanna is glad for the distraction of her friend Tammi’s request for information about guides. Although Shanna is still learning, she knows how to answer Tammi’s questions. The problem is, the entity Tammi is asking about isn’t really a guide. It’s a dead spirit who wants to take over Tammi’s life. And Shanna discovers that another entity, one with the power to destroy our universe, wants to use Tammi as well.
Guided by Jonah and Tethys, and helped by another being of light, Shanna must send the dead spirit to the afterlife before it’s too late—for Tammi and for the entire Universe.
Jonah confirmed my instinct by saying, “Yeah, Shanna and I have some important stuff to do. She’ll call you later and let you know what we can do to help you.”
Tammi glared at him. “Why do you have the right to decide what Shanna’s going to do?”
“He isn’t deciding,” I corrected. “He’s agreeing with me. Tammi, I’m sorry. I have plans with Jonah.”
“Yeah, I can just imagine what those plans are,” she said snottily.
I bit my tongue. Literally. I refused to give in and run off like I usually did when someone implied something like that. I didn’t think the words had actually come from Tammi, even though they’d exited her mouth. Tarina wanted to try to shake me. “You have a better imagination than I do, then,” I replied, keeping my voice calm. “Like I said, we’re going to talk about how to help you.”
“I don’t need any help from freaks like you,” she snapped.
I started to answer. Jonah put his hand on my arm and said to Tammi, “I’m sure you feel that way now. However, you’ve already asked for our help. We don’t give up that easily.” He let go of me. “Come on, Shanna.”
I didn’t even bother taking my books out of my locker. I only had two assignments due the next day, and if I didn’t finish them, I’d take the consequences. Hurrying away from Tammi/Tarina was more important, before the ache in my gut became real pain. The ache in my third energy center, to be precise. Where I always felt something when a negative entity or even a negative person hung around me. Somehow I knew Tarina’s presence caused the feeling. “See you tomorrow, Tammi,” I said sweetly.