I can’t help but noticing that the ratio of my book sales in the last twelve months has turned decidedly towards e-books. Looking back at my last year, sales have gone from 90% paperback last April to the exact opposite for April 2011. 90% e-book sales.
This is a very sudden change, which as an author, presents a whole new range of approaches necessary for marketing my books. In many respects it actually makes marketing easier, as e-books are in essence an extension of the Internet, so it makes sense to use the Internet and social media to promote the titles.
Where it gets a bit tricky is in preparing a book for publication. In the past my focus has been on getting a ‘book’ to market and as such, elements like typography, pagination, back cover and paper quality were the first items on the list of things to get right. Once the ‘book’ was published, an e-book version was some kind of afterthought. Just a quick re-format and bingo, an ebook.
However now, with the rapid move in the book market towards e-books, getting the formatting of an e-book spot on is an entirely different skill set. In my own experience I can tell you it takes me longer to get a book approved for publication and distribution on Smashwords than it does to get a paperback to market.
So where is the book going? Will our libraries and bookshops simply become e-terminals? Perhaps paperless and peopleless?
If you are an author or a reader, what do you think the future holds for the book?