On the eleventh day of Christmas… I was given a Kobo e-reader and joined the e-book revolution

Today I powered up the Kobo e-reader I was given for Christmas by my partner and behold it is very good.

Now just in case you’re thinking I jumped the gun completely as far as Christmas is concerned (which wouldn’t be an unreasonable assumption given my love of instant gratification), my partner and I exchanged the larger gifts before he departed to Melbourne for a week with his family so we wouldn’t have to cart all our presents up and down the east coast of Australia for Christmas itself. It worked out well for me because (a) I got presents early, and (b) I got an e-reader!

It was a complete and utter surprise and the reason it is exciting me so much is that, while I love print books a great deal (four overflowing bookcases are more than ample testament to that), and I hope bookstores hang around because I love browsing them (and buying in them too – refer back to the crowded bookcases), I have been itching to get my hands on one of the devices that is transforming publishing.

The reason I have been so keen to jump into this particular end of the digital pool is that in the first half of next year, hopefully sooner rather than later, I want to publish my first novel as a Kindle e-book on Amazon. I am hoping this will lead to a traditional publishing deal but self-publishing via the growing digital medium seems to be the way to go, puts power back in my hands to a large degree, and means my book is out there to be bought and read rather than languishing as 0s and 1s in a file on my iMac. Part of the process of e-publishing is being able to read it so I can make sure all my HTML formatting – a skill I have yet to acquire although I do have HTML for Dummies on my bookshelf – looks perfect, and to do that properly I need an e-reader.

Hence why my partner’s thoughtful gift (he is endlessly supportive) is so important and exciting. It’s another step in my creative career, which has taken a giant leap forward this year via self-publishing courses, the locating of a book cover designer and graphic artist, and the use of a great editing and proofreading site I have discovered via my new job. This is like another critical piece in the puzzle, and coming at Christmas, it is exquisitely timed at the end of what’s finishing up at least as a wonderful year.

So I have joined the e-book revolution at last and while I will not stop reading or buying print books, being able to quickly and easily take books to work, on a flight, wherever will be a boon. It will be just like when I first got an iPod and could suddenly take my entire music collection on a trip with me, not just the CDs that would fit in my travelling case with the Discman.

To start things off, I bought three books – I’ll Mature When I’m Dead by Dave Barry (love his humour and with plenty of his print books on my shelf, making him the first e-book seemed quite appropriate), Out of the Dark by David Weber (I had to have a sci-fi novel in there!), and finally, Ancient Mysteries by Peter James and Nick Thorpe (so my Kobo doesn’t think I am completely bereft of intellectual curiosity).

So happy e-Christmas everyone! May it be sparkly, bright, lightweight and a step into a very exciting future!

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