--post by Michael Estrin
When I tell people that I recently published my first novel, they smile and offer their hearty congratulations. Writing a novel—let alone publishing one—is a huge accomplishment. But when I tell those same people that my novel is only available as an ebook, their enthusiasm often dims.
Despite the fact that we live in a digital world, print remains the ultimate mark of legitimacy. Trees died for your words! Aren’t you a big deal author?
You can touch a print book, so it literally feels real. You can leave it on your nightstand, where it will dare you to ignore it. You can kill a spider with it. Or you can put it on your bookshelf so that guests will know how well read you are. But beyond the physical properties of a book, print just feels like the real deal because none of us grew up dreaming of ebooks.
One of the first people who bought my novel was a friend of a friend who I had never met face to face. He tore through Murder and Other Distractions in one night and emailed me the next day to ask if there was a print version available so that he could get an autographed copy.
I offered to sign ruin his Kindle with a Sharpie.
My book, with all its dark, oddball humor, spoke to this person. But beyond posting an Amazon review and lending it to a fellow Kindle user, there wasn’t much he could do to express his excitement. He couldn’t put Murder and Other Distractions on his bookshelf, and that kind of bums me out.
Don’t get me wrong. I love ebooks. And in a lot of ways, I love the direction publishing is headed—there are more books out there than ever before, and many of them are dirt cheap or free. But I can’t join anyone who celebrates the death of print. A physical copy of a book is a special thing, and that’s going away. What’s replacing print is a world of content delivered via the cloud. It’s great to be out there, and it’s great to reach so many readers, but it just isn’t as special as I thought it would be when I was a kid.
About The Blogger
Michael Estrin grew up in Los Angeles, fled, and returned.
He has written for a broad range of publications, including American Way, Nerve, Bitter Lawyer, AskMen, Draft, California Lawyer, and Penthouse (yes, they have articles, too).
Murder and Other Distractions is his first novel.
Visit Michael Estrin's Amazon Page here!
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