According to TechRadar, the “dedicated e-reader may have a limited lifespan.” It seems folks are opting to read ebooks on tablets and even their phones rather than devices that are strictly for ebooks. More people are dumping those gadgets.
Per the article, which surveyed adults in the UK, only 36% own dedicated e-readers, and half of those were received as gifts. But, only 4% of those folks read books solely on an e-reader. When narrowing the demographic to young adults, of course, the numbers are higher.
Not surprisingly, the survey reported that people who read both electronic and print books read more books, about twice as many as those who use only one format or the other. This was not a surprise to us. At BookLocker.com, our books that are available in print and electronic formats sell more copies than those that are available only as an ebook or only in print. Why? If a book is only available as an ebook, some people think it’s not a real book, even folks that are very happy to read an ebook. So, when an author and/or publisher invests in a print edition, it shows the reader the book is likely worth their investment as well. If a book is only available in print, that author and/or publisher is ignoring the large group of book lovers who buy LOTS of ebooks, those voracious ebook readers who read every spare minute they can find.
Offering all readers a choice between electronic and/or print versions usually increases book sales across the board. Of course, if nobody is effectively promoting that book, and/or if the book sucks, the book will die no matter how many formats it’s available in.
Per the article, 51% of those surveyed said they prefer print books. Print books aren’t going to become extinct just because electronic versions exist. Rather, each format complements the other with regard to sales, and to perceived value by book buyers.
Also not surprisingly, book lovers are seeing the print book anew, after experiencing problems with ebook reading devices, tablets and phones. For example, the page of a print book isn’t likely to blind you with glare at the beach or in your backyard. While some dedicated ebook reading devices have glare protection, many phones and tablets do not.
If you drop your paperback or hardcover in the bathtub or pool, you might be able to salvage it. If you can’t, replacing it is affordable. If you drop your Kindle, Nook, iPad or phone in the bathtub or pool…well, some of us (like me) have been through that nightmare. Last year, I reached out to swat at a wasp by the pool and my brand new phone flew several feet, almost as if in slow motion, with me screaming “Nooooo!” behind it, before making a big splash. Boy oh boy, the kids screamed with laughter at that spectacle. They still haven’t let me live that one down. Had that been my paperback, I could have replaced it cheaply and quickly…or I could have tried drying it out first. Drying out my phone in rice didn’t work. It was ruined.
You don’t have to worry about the battery on your paperback or hardcover book dying. I finally dumped my Nook because of that problem alone. It really sucks to crawl into bed to relax with an ebook, click the button, and see only a black screen. That happened over and over again. With no print book to back it up, I’d switch to reading news headlines on my phone instead. No, the cord for the Nook wasn’t long enough to enable me to read in bed and my phone screen is too small for me to comfortably read a book.
On the flipside, people who read ebooks tend to read a LOT of ebooks. If they buy an ebook for around $2.99, and don’t like it, they’ll just quickly buy another one. Authors and publishers don’t have to wait for those folks to drive to the bookstore and ebook lovers don’t have to wait for a box to arrive on their doorstep.
So, the good news is the print book isn’t dead, and likely won’t be for a long time to come (if ever).
The better news is offering print and ebook editions of a title can greatly increase the number of copies an author sells. So, when publishing your books, be sure to offer both formats to your readers. That way, you’re not shunning the young, tech-savvy crowd, nor the more traditional book lovers. Publishing your book in electronic and print formats means your words will be available to all and that benefits everybody, including you.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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