Friday, January 31, 2014

It's Both

Eight or nine or years ago a few 'book' people predicted the eventual demise of traditional books. They expected in a few short years that everyone would do all their reading on an eReader or a computer. No one would be buying paper books.

During a few years from 2008 onward, it seemed it might actually come true. With the introduction of such devices as the Kindle and the Nook, ebook sales shot upward but not quite to infinity and beyond. Those sales did cut into the sales of physical books but they didn't push them into extinction. Predictions now are that they probably never will.

Like many authors in today's world, I sell many more ebooks than I do print books. My publishers pay me a higher percentage of the profits for ebooks also since their overhead is less. I'm glad ebooks are having their time in the sun. But as a long time lover of books, I'm also thrilled that traditional book formats are still among us.

According to this 2013 report from BEA and shared in Publisher's Weekly, traditional books and ebooks can coexist but what share of the market each will share is still and evolving numbers game. 

I still like having book signings and spend many hours in bookstores shopping, but how long will that last? I'm amongst the group of readers who still enjoy some paper books but also do lots of digital reading. My children in college have classes and textbooks online. My one son, a voracious reader, does most of his reading on his Kindle. As the generations who grew up reading traditional books ages and slowly disappear, will books become all digital? Will that pleasant, slightly dusty scent of paper books be gone forever?

Do you think the ebook versus traditional book competition has evened out? Are any members of your family in school and using digital textbooks? Do you still feel the same away about ebooks as you did a few years ago?

Please check out my latest ebook release, The Marine's Heiress, now available at a very reasonable price from New Concepts Publishing. It's formatted for any digital device.

Susan Gourley writes romance as Susan Kelley. You can find her at her blog, Susan Says.


vickyb said...

Although I read a lot on the computer, I will never give up my paper books - they don't require batteries, hang around forever, and can be passed down through the generations (as some of mine have been). Somehow, I can't see passing my Kindle books down to my grandkids. :)

And your latest story sounds great!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks, Vicky. Hope things are going a little better at your house.
We have so many books, I'm encouraging my children to buy eBooks before the house collapses under the weight.

Dennis Royer said...

Well written, Susan, I enjoy print books for all the reasons you mention, but Kindle sales of my latest novel far outnumber print sales. It probably has to do with today's society which demands instant gratification. With an Internet connection and a few keystrokes anyone can enjoy their favorite book right away.