Sunday, September 06, 2009

Do older people like computers and ebooks?

I was just reading a transcript of #followreader on Twitter. It was a chat for readers to express to publishers what they like and dislike about books. Two things struck me as commentable: 1) Why do the readers seem to think ebooks are all $10.00 and above, as expensive or more expensive than paper books? 2) Why do the readers think that people my age (I'm almost 50) and older, don't as a big group like ebooks or computers? First, not all ebooks are $10.00 and higher. I don't know in what universe these people got their information. Oh, I'm sure there are some ebooks that cost that much and more, but most? NOT my publishers. For example, my novel length book "Shipwrecked" at Total-E-Bound costs $5.08. "Friction" an anthology of 7 stories, cost $9.67 - But that's a lot of stories and more words than an ordinary novel. At Ellora's Cave my novel "American Beauty" costs $5.95 in e-format. The print version, which is coupled with "Better Than IceCream" is called "Sweet & Sticky" costs $12.99. Truth, Justice & The Vampire Way at Ellora's Cave costs $5.20. Sex Kittens, an anthology at Ellora's Cave costs $6.99 in e-format. The print book costs $11.99. Have I convinced you yet that a lot of ebooks are affordable and less than print books? What about the other question? Is it fair to assume that the majority of people 50 and older are not computer literate? Or that they don't like computers or ebooks? I'm not sure. Maybe we should take a poll. I'm almost 50 and I like to think I'm pretty computer literate. I'm very comfortable with Excel, Word, Power Point, and the Internet. I love to read ebooks. I think being tech savvy is cool. At my day job, my coworkers in my department who are in their 40's and 50's are also computer literate. They love to play and work on the computer as much as I do. However, the majority of the people who are 60 and older, are not into the computer. One of them dives in and seems to like it. The rest seem hesitant, even scared of computers. It seems like a lot of the people who call us and are older, tell us they don't have a computer or don't like computers. Some are very indignant when we mention the word "computer" or "Internet". However, I have at least two friends in other departments who are in their 60's who love the computer and are also very good with it. My father who is 80, was a computer programmer and an electrical engineer who designed at least one computer. He's very good with computers - but it amazes me, he's not really into the Internet. He'd prefer to look up a phone number in the old fashioned phone book rather than pop onto Whitepages.com. I don't get it at all. My kids have no problems reading ebooks. They seek out stories on line all the time. Strangely, they're not into Facebook or Twitter like me. Maybe age makes no difference to whether or not someone likes computers, ebooks, or different applications, just the individual. It's generally not fair to make assumptions even about one person much less large groups of people. Who's making this assumption? Do they have any data to back it up? I'd be interested to see data if it exists.

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

2 comments:

The Redhead Riter said...

I am telepathic and I know something...I know that at 12:01 a.m. on 9/7/09, there will be TWO things for you at my blog ♥

http://theredheadriter.blogspot.com

Thanks for being my bloggie friend.

Amarinda Jones said...

People will always make assumptions and wild generalizations. It gives 'em something to do.

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