There’s a great article on recent conversions to the e-book world over on Digital Book World, and in it was this great personal anecdote from Richard Curtis:
Over a decade ago the e-book company I founded, E-Reads, generated its very first royalty statements, and sales were modest indeed. I happened to be having lunch with one of the authors who had put her book into our program, and when she asked how her novel was selling, I embarrassedly produced her statement. “We sold one copy.”
She gazed at the statement, with its meager single-digit performance, for a long time. Then she looked up wistfully at me. “I wonder who that person is.”
I’ve never forgotten her response, for it brought home to me the true, the only, reason that writers write: to be read. The money, the royalties, the fortunes even, are undeniably wonderful byproducts. But ultimately the argument that clinches it for the holdouts is simple: You will reach more readers.