Sometime last year, I was involved in a discussion about whether the “packaging” that a book comes in is important or not. More specifically, this meant was a book any better for being printed on paper instead of being produced in ebook format?
My answer, if I was listening to the logical angel on one shoulder, was no. A good story is a good story. It doesn’t matter if it has a great cover, or lots of marketing, or what it might or might not be printed on. These factors affect how well the book sells and who buys it, but they don’t change anything about the story itself.
The passionate angel on the other shoulder thoroughly disagreed. Sure, ebooks are convenient, good for the environment, cheaper, blah blah blah. But you don’t get the same sensation of holding the book. You don’t hear that beautiful scrapey noise of the pages turning. You don’t get the sweet, comforting sensation of reading words that are permanently imprinted on paper. Most of all, you don’t get that smell. It doesn’t matter if they’re new or old, books smell amazing.
I’m thinking about this right now because I just requested the cover edits for my upcoming book. Like always, I’ll release it in both formats. Like always, I’ll be excited to see the listing on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and various other platforms with my name and a thumbnail picture of the book. But I will be absolutely thrilled to actually feel the hard copy of it in my hand and to smell the fresh ink on those crisp, white pages.
What do you think? Is there a difference to you in how the book you’re reading is packaged? I’d love to know!