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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Poll: Do Readers Expect Less From eBooks Than Traditional Novels?

I heard an author recently suggest that readers have different expectations for an author’s ebooks, as opposed to their traditional novels. Now an author can offer all kinds of different product to their readers, at a much faster rate: Anthologies, novellas, lost stories, etc. But does this faster flowing stream of stories affect readers’ expectations? Do they expect

  • Less density
  • Less editorial quality
  • A faster read
Apparently, some think readers DO expect less from ebooks — less craft, less substance, less in-depth characterizations, less detail — than traditional novels.  What they want is a quick read. Something to hold them over until their next literary meal. Then again, maybe this doesn’t mean readers have “less” expectations. Perhaps they just expect something “different” from ebooks. I’m not sure.
Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


  1. Great question and fun vote! Although since those voting are probably primarily writers or are in the industry and not "typical" readers, not sure if the poll will offer an accurate result. Not to say it doesn't have any value... just might not be a accurate representation of "readers" at large.

  2. I'm a writer and a reader. And I've come to expect this one thing from e-books (novels specifically) from all varieties of publishers - as in the name publishers and self/indie publishers. Converting print novels and producing directly to e-books, no matter who's doing it, there are lots of errors. Repeated paragraphs, wrong spacing, typos, and all kinds of mistakes. I don't know what happens in the conversion/e-printing process to cause this, but I can testify from personal experience that even after ALL the errors in conversion have been corrected, they don't come through in the final version.

    As for the actual stories, it definitely depends on who the author is. I've seen quality writing from the known and unknown in e-books, but I've seen innumerable mistakes/errors in every e-book I've read. And now my own is in the same boat after going over and over the process to correct errors that occurred in the conversion and weren't in the original copy. Trying to fix them. We'll see.


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