Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lori Wilde: A Book By Any Other Name

While you might not realize the extent of it yet, Dear Reader, you and I have just stepped into a time machine together and the future is upon us.

All you have to do is download a book on your e-reader or computer and boom—we are in direct communication. Magic. What was once the stuff of science fiction is now our daily reality. The invention of the E-reader is the biggest thing to hit publishing since Gutenberg’s movable type.

The paradigm has shifted. The revolution has begun. There’s no going back to the old ways.

As with all change, it’s a mixed blessing. To some the change is frightening. To others, exhilarating. For every positive there is a negative. For every dark shadow exists a bright sun. Some mourn the old days. Others fearlessly embrace the new. Most fall somewhere in between.

Those of us who grew up with actual books still have a need to touch and smell paper and there’s just something about a shelf full of books that makes us feel warm and cozy and safe. But the new generation born into technology, and reared with a deeper appreciation for ecology, feels no melancholia for books with spines.

When I was a girl living on a farm, I’d tuck a book under my arm, escape from my three younger brothers by heading down to the creek and climbing my favorite tree. It was a Chinaberry with a thick branch shaped like an L. I’d nestle back in the nook of that tree, stretch out my legs and slip into the story. When I got hot, I could flip the book upside down over the limb and drop down into the creek to cool off. Future budding authors can’t take that risk with their E-readers. Water and electronics don’t well miss. Then again, they wouldn’t have to trudge all the way to the house to get a new book when they finished the old one.

Do we really have to chose digital over print? Can both still co-exist? For publishing, it’s the new Wild West and we’re holding our collective breaths to see how it shakes out.

But when you get down to it the only thing that’s really changed is the delivery system. Our communication is more immediate, true, but walk through the aisle of any bookstore and reach out your hand. You could be transported to a whaling vessel via Herman Melville or find yourself watching a mongoose and cobra battle through the words of Rudyard Kipling. Mark Twain will take you down his Mississippi or Harry Potter will show you around wizard school. You can dance macabre with Stephen King or have bounty hunting fun with Stephanie Plum.

Now, you can simply push a button and get those same stories anywhere, any time. (Even in a Chinaberry tree if you have 3G) Convenient. Ecological. Instant gratification.

While the future might be scary, there is one thing we can always count. Stories matter. Whether printed on paper or nestled in our e-reader, stories are never going away. Stories have power. They entertain, provoke, enlighten. Stories enrich the fabric of our lives. Stories create a sense of wonder. They show us that the world is a much larger place than we ever imagined.

But you already knew that, didn’t you? Because you’re here with me, reading the words that I have written on the magic of technology. We need each other to make this story thing work.

Your e-book is our time machine. Stories are our guide. The universe—past, present and future—belongs to us. Isn’t it a great time to be alive? Where would you like to go?



Nas Dean said...

Stories are our escape from the ordinary, so it really doesn't matter whether it's ebooks or print books! As long as there are good stories and story-tellers!

lrwirum said...

I love my ereader and the fact I can hundreds of "books" with me where ever I go and I don't have to have boxes or bags to do so. On the other hand I still love my print books but when traveling it is a lot harder to take with me especially since I love my books to be in excellent condition and with an ereader the books never get messed up. :-) So for me I will take my stories any way I can get them as I can't imagine ever going anywhere without at least one book with me. :-)


Nya Nicks said...

Hey lady, great posts. I know. I'm a reluctant techie. I appreciate it on the ecology side and also it's immediate results, but I grew up with 'books', collect them as well- but also realize as a writer and businesswoman you have to learn to 'shift' with the times. About to check out your main site. Have a great day!


Michele said...

Thanks for lettingme know about Michael Lee. I will definitely be adding her to my wish list!
Re: bookstores - My favorite bookstore, Borders, is closing. And I feel guilty! I used to go in there at least 2x a week but ever since I got my kindle, it dwindled down to once in a blue moon. But the truth is, I would buy a bunch of books and after I read them, have nowhere to keep them. Now, they pretty much go everywhere with me and I never run out of things to read.

JewelTones said...

I'm on the cusp of the ereader thing. Books have overtaken my house, so an ereader would help with the clutter (plus I love to be able to read on the go), but every time I read about the readers (ha ha) I'm never sure which one is "best". So many features! So the hunt goes on but I know one is definitely in my future.

Can't wait for your new book, Lori! The whole Club/Twilight, Texas series has been amazing! Oh, and totally looking forward to the next Blaze! That sounds like a riot! Naked Yoga and Hot Navy Dudes? Who can resist that!?

robynl said...

a big congrats on your new book's release; the title is so refreshing when one thinks of the garden and spring coming.

I, too, used to go down to the dugout on the farm with a blanket and book in hand to read under the trees(until I saw a snake and that was it for me).

We have a glass door book cabinet where we keep treasure books and dh has a Kobo and I have a Palm e-reader. We use both worlds, so to speak.

Keep on writing the books we readers love. Thanks for giving us the name of a new to me writer.

Kathy said...

Can't wait to read this one!!!

cheryl c said...

Congrats on the new release, Lori! I can't wait to make another visit to Twilight.

I am a reader who will be dragged kicking and screaming into the ereader world. I love my paperbacks. I also lament the loss of bookstores. I have always loved to browse a good bookstore. My local B&N is gone, so I miss being immersed in the world of books at the store.

Lori said...

I grew up surrounded by books, devouring virtually every title I could find. Surveying my office, I'm still surrounded by those friendly spines. In fact bookcases outnumber beds 2-1...and we have 6 beds!

But now, I never leave home without my Kindle. All my favorites are there, ready to indulge me in a quick escape or to provide ready research, any time.

My finance tried to go the ebook route, but found he isn't quite ready to give up the feel of a book in hand.

I gave both my parents Kindles Christmas before last. My mom, who has macular degeneration is addicted to hers. Able to adjust the font to a comfortable size for her vision, she digests several books a week. It took nearly a year for her to coax my techno-phobic father to try his -- now they share titles with ease.

The ebook is so seamless to me now, on ocassion I find myself reaching for the corner of the page to turn it. You can bet I'll have "The Welcome Home Garden Club" on my Kindle before the day's out. They'll be in good company alongside many of your earlier titles.

debi said...

I am looking very forward to reading the next book. I find the new electronic books exciting, but I still like to take that book from the shelf. There is just something about it. However, we just came back from a cruise so there is something to be said about lugging those 10 books with you so you have options... I love just have the escape that takes you away for a few minutes in a book. I can read almost anywhere as long as it is a good book. Debi

pollidog said...


E-books are to stay. I love them but I prefer holding a book and flipping pages. Can't wait to read Garden Club (I'll buy it at Borders).

Every RWA meeting I attend I hear of more and more authors going the e-route and building their readership by leaps and bounds.

Congrats on your latest!

Maureen said...

It is definitely an interesting time for publishing. Although I don't yet have an e-reader I do realize it is just a matter of time until it happens. The thing I find interesting is that both my kids are in college and college textbooks are still almost all paper books. You would think that college students would be leading the way on e-books but my daughter tells me that there is no significant savings to be had if you can find the textbook digitally.

Pat Cochran said...

I don't have an ereader yet, but I'll
break down one day and get one. I did
not have a cell phone until Christmas
2009 or a laptop until January 2011.
Thanks, Honey! As for where I'd like to
go, it's back to Venice for me, then

Pat Cochran

Jane said...

Happy Release Day, Lori. I don't have an e-reader, but I do read digital books on my computer. With the prices decreasing and more choices, I do hope to purchase an e-reader soon.

Tonya said...

I don't plan to get an ereader until or unless I absolutely have to. And by have to, I mean if that's the only way I can read my favorite authors books. I love having a book in my hand. I love going to the bookstore & using bookmarks. I even love how books smell.

I am excited to read this new author, Michael Lee West. I am a Janet Evanovich/Stephanie Plum fan & a southern girl so this book sounds perfect for me.

I am also excited about your new books. The Blaze & the Twilight ones. I was waiting for The Welcome Home Garden Club to come out so I can read them all together. I can't wait!

bc2mc3 said...

I am using both an ereader and real books with spines. Love having real books, but the convenience of being able to download a book as soon as I am finished with one is awfully tempting. So tempting that my credit card is smoking!! :)

I am a Janet Evanovich fan so will love to read a new author.

Kathy said...

I also use and read both an ereader and "paper and ink" books. The ereader is great when traveling and I can take several "books" with me in one small package :) . But I also support our local independent bookstore and buy as many books from there as possible.

I put GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN by Michael Lee West on my "to get" list :)

Karen said...

I bought my e-reader so I wouldn't have to cart truck loads of books with me when we traveled. I love it - as does my husband who now has room for his stuff!! An additional benefit to the e-reader is having the opportunity to 'buy' the free books that are out there - giving me the opportunity to experience different genres and authors - what fun.. There are times I miss holding the actual book and I do have books that I have no intention of ever getting rid of!

Looking forward to reading your new book - regardless of delivery system.

carol said...

i want one of those kindles things u can download off the internet and read from them,i think thats the name of them. can wait to read your new book and can't wait to read the author Michael
Lee West.

moosehog said...

I've always loved your books as you well know, and I respect your opinion so if you say I should read Michael Lee West then I'll read Michael Lee West and I'm sure I'll love Michael Lee West almost as much as I love you. But first I'm reading Welcome Home Garden Club.

dawnkester said...

I love your books and being able to read ebooks makes it that I can take them anywhere. Thank you.

hotcha12 said...


SNAG61 said...

Hi Lori
Just got to my email tonight. Saw your message about fun "Evanovic' style author. I would certainly enjoy her work since I do love the Stephanie Plum series. I like the southern charm influence also.
Gotta tell you, I went straight from work to Barnes and Noble today to get your book. It was prominently displayed right on the center aisle. I saw it immediately, Can't wait to read it, I'll send you a note when I finish it, Hugs, Anne

ev said...

I love my sony ereader and use the kindle on my droid, esp for reading samples.

I used to climb the willow tree in the front yard and hide or during the summer head out in our little motor boat with a fishing pole, six pack of tab and books. Everyone left me alone thinking I was fishing.

Now i put the ereader in a zip lock bag when I am near water. Or if it's raining out. Works fine.

Hubby had problems holding books and had quit reading until he got his ereader. I have run out of room for books,except for those HC that I need to continue the series of and certain authors.

And now I have a new author to add to the list!! Woot!!

Estella said...

Can't wait to visit Twilight again!

I love my Kindle, but still like to hold a book in my hands.

Zora said...

Hi Lori,

Can't wait to read your new book. I've loved all the others so far. I'm a fan of Janet Evanovich too.

Zora Jovanovic

MaryLou said...

Hi Lori, I agree its weird to have books you can read instantly, but I am finding that I actually love that feature of my kindle! I never have to leave my house to get your new book which I have just downloaded to my Kindle and plan to read ASAP! I am a total fan of the Twilight Series so far and I'm sure this one will be every bit as good as the rest. Bye for now, I'm going to go read!

MaryLou Cartwright

Laurievanzura said...

I love hearing everyone's opinion. Thank you all for commenting.

lkel said...

Stories transport us to new lands and new adventures. We live vicariously through the characters, cheering on good and cursing evil. I have a small Barnes and Noble like collection of paperbacks and hardbacks. And I already have a collection of electronic books. To me it's the story regardless of the medium. Beam me up Scottie!

Can't wait to read the new book Lori. Congrats!!!


3212 said...

Lori, love all your books, but especially this club series!!!! I will have to keep the GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN by Michael Lee West on my must try new authors!!!.

Kaz said...

Congrats on your latest! Love your storytelling & have both print and E versions of them.

panda girl said...

Hi Lori looking forward to your book. I haven't gotten into the ereaders still like to feel of a book in my hand. Maybe I'll get there someday LOL

marybelle said...

The thing about e-books is that they are an instant buy. I look, I yearn, I buy, I read. Instant gratification.

DL Thomas said...

I haven't read any of your books yet, but I will be soon. They sound very good.

I love finding new authors (new to me anyway).


jill.debellis said...

I love to read new writers. You never know when you will find one that you just have to have in your library of books. thank you so much for letting us know about this new author.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Lori. Great post. I love how we have the choice of reading paperbacks and ebooks. I do both and enjoy both formats. Congrats on your new release. Love the cover.

ChristyJan said...

What a fun post! I couldn't agree more with all your observations. I don't have an e-reader ~ I'm one of those who still has to have the book (with the smell) in my hands.
Congratulations on your new release!

traveler said...

Congratulations and best wishes on your new release. I love the feel of books in my hands and will always treasure them.

petite said...

Your post was timely and important. Books are enjoyable but we have to keep up with technology as well. I still cannot resist books. Congrats.

Vanetta Q said...

Reading the new book and can't put it down... I have a kindle but I still love my "paper" books... I usually only use my kindle as last resort, if I can't find the book when I "need" it.... LOL Almost downloaded this one because the book store or Nora's store didn't have the new book... but "Walmart" did! LOL As you know... I love it.... See ya soon! Counting down the days! :)

Stacy S said...

I haven't made up my mind yet on ereaders. They have many to choose from now..But I love going to the bookstore and looking at all the books.

Michele L. said...

Oh, I don't think so. I love my print books to much. I have a whole library of books that I will never give up. The only time I would read anything on an ereader is if, I won it, and it already had free books downloaded on it. Sorry, but I love pretty covers, paper, and flipping pages. I know, I am nut!