To satisfy my demographic, I need the novels I write to be available in paperback as well as electronically. Many people who read my books will want to hold the book in their hands, see the page numbers and even skim to the end if they so desire. However, the argument has been made: How important is the bookshelf?
I never really thought about this as such a difficult question until today. I had a friend on vacation that read my first book and wanted to get her hands on the second book. Although my books are available in some stores on some shelves, they are not universally available. She was unable to get the book and I will have to get it to her when she gets home. Of course, I am happy to do it, but I was disappointed that she had to wait. That being said, someone called me on the phone today from a local bookstore and asked me why he can’t find my novel on the shelves.
There is no doubt that the future of bookstores is uncertain. There will probably be a time in the not-so-distant future where electronic books will be more of the norm and less of a luxury. But until that time, bookstores are still in business and people are still buying hardcovers and paperbacks. So how important is the shelf? What do you think?