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Please welcome Karen Chase, author of the new memoir, Bonjour 40: A Paris Travel Log

Karen Chase on why she chose the e-book format

Choosing the e-book format for my first book, Bonjour 40: A Paris Travel Log, was really my parent’s fault at first.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been hammering out a few book ideas, writing articles, following publishing trends, and working on a larger historical fiction novel. When I announced to my family my intentions to travel to Paris for my fortieth birthday, my parents decided to buy me a Kindle to take with me.

“Think of all the books you can carry on the plane,” my mother said.

“Would you publish that book of yours on e-book, too?” my father added.

After that question, and once the Kindle arrived, it was if I began seeing publishing with a very different eye. I read articles about publishing houses struggling, agents leaving the profession, self-publishing opportunities expanding, long-time print authors testing e-book markets. A friend of mine who had recently been published told me her e-books were outselling her print books. Libraries started carrying e-books. It all became so clear. The publishing world, she was a-changin’!

It was like that moment in the eighties when everyone gave up Beta videotapes for VHS. It wasn’t necessarily better, but it was more accessible, and so we embraced it. The e-book experience, to me, is the same. E-books are more accessible, and more affordable. If the traditional model was to produce a hardcover, then a paperback, then an e-book, what if that changed? Fiscally it makes sense to publish an e-book, and if all goes well then publish the paperback, then a hardcover or limited edition piece.

Now, as I read my books on Kindle, buy, exchange or borrow printed books, and read magazines both online and in-hand, I realize what is most important to me. The content. Are we a world of libraries, bookstores, and readers who are supporting books? Or are we supporting authors and the written word? Yes, I picked the latter, too.

For many authors success is seeing their stuff in print. It’s holding a bound book in hand, or seeing it on the shelves. That’s nice, but for me it’s more important that people are reading what I’m writing regardless of the medium they’re using (e-reader, computer, printed page, clairvoyant, whatever).

Writing is not about saying “I wrote a book,” it’s about sharing my ideas with readers. For me, it truly is the thought that counts.

About Bonjour 40

If Karen A. Chase absolutely had to turn 40, she decided she could do it gracefully in Paris… for nearly 40 days. What began as a blog to communicate with friends and family became a travel journal filled with over a months’ worth of daily details of her Paris adventures, each of which could be read in about 40 seconds. Peppered with Karen’s own photographs, she also weaves in longer stories that reflect upon her experiences with Parisians, travel, food, photography, writing, and love in the City of Lights.

Please visit Karen Chase’s website to learn more