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?


Are We Becoming Bookless?

28 thoughts on “Are We Becoming Bookless?

  • 06/05/2011 at 4:30 am

    Wait! Libraries aren't empty. You forgot the computer terminals! :)

  • 16/05/2011 at 6:32 pm

    I don't have an ereader yet, I do have computers though, I think it's great although I still want to have editors and proof readers.
    I also think that we can really approach a book as a piece of art with this new media since all of the graphics or other things we would like to do is available to us.

  • 19/07/2011 at 1:37 am

    Bring on the ebooks; they are greener than paper. Will miss copies signed by the author, though.

    • 19/07/2011 at 9:30 am

      Ha Monica!

      My handwriting is crud, so the less books I sign the better. lol

  • 23/07/2011 at 5:10 am

    I really enjoy EBooks. I am finding that I prefer to take my EReader with me where ever I go. It gives me so many options. I can read fiction, non-fiction, browse a magazine, read the paper or play a game. For the pure satisfaction of having choice when I pull the little thing out of my purse, I’m an EBook junkie.

    As a teacher. I also like that there my students can carry so many books in a backpack and not break their backs.

  • 23/07/2011 at 5:11 am

    my book – The Book of SEVEN’ on Smashwords is there for several reasons. I am a starving artist and love to write stories, but I hate my book.
    I put this there because of the FREE part, and I think it has a better chance to reach a larger audience in electronic eBook form, not to mention it being in several formats, ie’ PDF, HTML, Text, DOC, Apple, Kindle, etc…
    The other reason is price, at $3.00 you can dowload all versions! Some people do not have money to buy the $10 paper version and some people do not have room to store real books.
    I prefer the paper version of a big book, but small books are good on the electronic scale.
    Currently I hope the trend is Kindle and ePub and HTML – I like reading a book as a web page and having Bookmarks.
    thankts that my two cents. follow me on Twit – @ElijaJames….good day.

  • 23/07/2011 at 6:37 am

    Actually, I don’t care what format books are read. It’s reading. And it’s book sales. It’s change, and I’m good with it. @hopeclark

    C. Hope Clark

  • 23/07/2011 at 6:56 am

    I would miss the smell of the paper, the feel of the turning page between my fingers and the energy that resides in a physical book. Some books I’m fine with e-reading, but there are some that hold so much emotion and meaning for me that I want to see them in my bookcase or on my bedside table.

    There is, in the back of my mind, a “what-if.” What if the technology fails and all the e-books become inaccessible? What if by some apocolyptic event we no longer have a means to power the readers, transfer the data, and so forth? Without any physical books, all the e-only literature would be lost to the world forever.

    Or…maybe I’m just old-fashioned (or just plain old).

  • 23/07/2011 at 9:18 am

    I have mixed feelings at the moment. My first grandchild was born a month ago and one of the first things I did was to e-mail a local meteorologist who came to my classroom in 2008 upon my request for a presentation. I taught geography and asked for a ‘weather’ presentation. The meteorologist had just written a children’s book.

    He replied promptly as I asked to purchase his book and asked for him to sign it addressed to my grandson. I was thrilled to know he wrote two more since 08. When I received the books I was excited that someday I can read these wonderful books addressed to my grandson.

    So it makes me sad to think . . . maybe someday this will not even be possible!

    I love my Kindle per say, however, I don’t think the prices for new books via Kindle are fair. When I received the Kindle (as a gift) it was advertised as new books for $9.99. Today that is not the case. I realize after correspondence why this is, but it still stings.

    So, I still go to the library for the newer books and deal with a long wait list. I just don’t have the finances to purchase new books. I read lots of older books on my Kindle.

    So, I do want to see my grandson crack a spine or two, along with the ability to read on a Kindle, Nook, or the like.

    But I have to admit, I still get a thrill when an author signs his/her own book!

  • 23/07/2011 at 10:18 am

    I love books, the smell and feel of them, I am tempted by E-books though, just to make it easier on my creaking over loaded book cases! I do think if E-books get more kids reading then great I’m continually shocked by how few children in my school read anything.

  • 23/07/2011 at 10:32 am

    Yes, that too disappointed me as a teacher. I would promote any form of reading to kids today :)

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