Sisters (and Brothers) in Crime

April 24th, 2011

I attended the April meeting of Sisters in Crime held concurrently with a meeting of the Midwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. It was standing room only! I’m glad I arrived early.
After a brief business meeting, a panel discussed the future of mystery publishing and mystery reading. In contrast to Love is Murder (held in Chicago last February), where most of the discussion centered around e-books and e-publishing; traditional print publishing seemed to be the favored mode for those on the panel at this meeting. I saw many nods in the audience and a woman sitting my row said “I don’t want one of those Kindles! I want to hold a book in my hand.”
Given the demographics of mystery readers, I wonder if she was speaking for many. The average mystery reader in the US today is over 45, female, and lives in the south. However, I’ve had many people over 50 tell me that they’ve purchased an e-copy of my book. From what I can tell, it looks like print and e-format versions of Seeker of Truth are selling about equally.
What’s your take on this issue? Are e-books the wave of the future for mysteries, or will bound copies always dominate? Feel free to leave a comment.

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