Guest Column: What Readers Want From E-books
Clearly we cannot continue to overlook their needs. With a little attention to her desires, you can have a loyal customer for life.
So let’s examine what’s worked for her so far with e-books. What has her experience been like? Why has she chosen to read digitally along with print?
She is a reader. A passionate, avid, engaged reader who often describes herself as addicted to books. That is why e-books work for her.
The biggest lure of e-books: You can carry a library of titles on a reading device. I checked my dedicated e-reader, and I have 110 titles. Then there’s the immediacy. You can download titles anytime, anywhere. It’s 10 p.m. on a Sunday night, and I want the new Debbie Macomber title. No problem—I’ve got it. The fact that I don’t need more bookshelves in my home is an added benefit. Changing font size (comfort reading, I like to call it) is more and more important for the over-40 reader.
My romance reader does not read for status; she reads for an entertaining escape. She moved past the nostalgia of a print edition (I love the “smell” of a real book!) very quickly. She’s a little intrigued by the idea of digital books with more—i.e., videos and other interactivity—but until the entire process is simpler, this is not the main selling feature for her. Instead, she worries whether or not she can read her book five years from now.
What does this smart customer want? She wants an easy shopping and download process. She expects to be able to shop from many different online retailers and is usually shocked when she learns a dedicated device has tied her to one format. As she moves to second- and third-generation e-readers, she expects her books to migrate with her. After all, they are her books.