This is a big question for readers. And writers. Because writers are readers (or if they’re not, they should be!).
This time last week the first boxes of paperbacks of my second novel FIND ME arrived. What a moment. The book has been available as a Kindle for a little while now and when I hit the publish button there was a moment as well. But it was nothing like the moment when Deb in the post office opened the very first box to reveal stacks and stacks of books. And the response from my readers to the arrival of the paperback has far exceeded my expectations. And my supplies. Within two days I had to place a new order.
So it got me thinking about the question we are asked every single day. What do readers want? Real books or ebooks?
I remember when a close friend received one of the very first iPads to arrive in Australia. To her it was a new gadget, a new toy and a MUST have. When I questioned her about why she MUST have this gadget it wasn’t because it was shiny and new, it was because she wanted to take it on her next holiday to Bali. With books on it. Goodbye heavy bag full of paperbacks. Hello shiny new toy with books on it.
And so it began. And so it continues.
I love laying in bed late at night with the iPad screen dimmed to the perfect light. You can read for so much longer this way for one simple reason – it takes no energy to turn the page. Just a tiny flick of your finger and there you have it – a clean new page full of words.
But as a reader, and a writer, the shiny new gadgets for reading ebooks that come onto the market every single day will never replace the lovely, beautiful, tactile sensation of holding a ‘real book’ in your hand. Running your hand over the cover – have they used gloss or matt finish? Is there any raised lettering? And then you open it. What kind of paper have they printed on? Is it cream? Is it white? You then have a flick. There are no words to describe the first flick of the pages. And once you have gone through all the motions, you sit in your most favourite reading place and so it begins.
And so it continues.
For the past 12 months I have been nurturing and looking after a book baby. The process is much like a real baby in many ways. First of all there’s the time where that baby is yours and only yours. Hidden from the world. Safe and protected while it grows.
Once that baby comes into the world you protect, love, feed, live and breathe that baby every waking moment – and sleeping moments as well. It wakes you in the middle of the night and you have no choice but to get up and feed it some more. It interrupts you time and time again and you find it impossible to concentrate on anything else.
My book baby is called Find Me, and finally it’s time to hand it over to my readers. It is a daunting and scary feeling but one that I will never forget.
- To one of my first readers Prue in Australia, who finished the book the same day she purchased it and posted this 5-star review: Heartbreaking – Congrats on a fabulous story of which I could not put down. My heart cried for all those families that lose some one. And to those that are lost.
- And to my Sunshine Reader from Knoxville: Love Australian setting! Deals with an important issue, too. Wow. This book transported me into another world. I loved being in the Australian outback, complete with cowboys and “B&S Balls” (Bachelor and Spinster Balls). This story contains a delicate balance of romance, mystery, crime and sadness. It is obvious the author has an affinity for missing people and it’s interesting how she highlights they different types of people who go missing.
- Then there’s Ariel from Boston: I love the 80s – the music – I love the 80s – the music, the fashion and the simplicity of life without the modern technologies we have today. But what Melissa highlights so well in this book is the lessons we can learn from the 80s, especially when it comes to missing persons. She gives a realistic perspective of so many issues from what it was like to be a policewoman in the 80s to what it was like to be the family member of someone who is missing. Beautifully written. This book will stay with me for a long time.
- And Kristina, also from Australia: The voices of the missing must be heard with new ears. I have been waiting for this book since I read Melissa’s debut Write About Me. And it’s been so worth the wait!! Another page-turner written from the heart. Couldn’t put it down. Congratulations to an exciting new Australian author.
Thank you to all my readers for taking care of my baby. Enjoy!
We knew that would get your attention! That’s the power of words.
But in author speak, on top means #1 and that’s exactly where Write About Me is currently sitting. And we’re pretty excited here at The Word Mint for our author Melissa-Jane Pouliot. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, pack some tissues, don your best 80s gear and enjoy the ride.
- Write About Me is available on Amazon as a Kindle and paperback
- It is also available as a paperback from a range of stockists in Australia