Consider this – Amazon earned more revenue through sales of Kindle than through books. Traditional publishing powerhouses like Barnes & Noble are heavily into e-reader market with its Nook offering. Book distributing giant, Borders, has shut down taking hundreds of beloved stores along with it. What is happening to the publishing industry? Some pundits say doomsday stories have been making the rounds for years, yet everything seems to be the same. Is E-publishing really making inroads into the traditional books market?
It is the cost, stupid
There is a certain movement towards the digital market. Amazon has been selling eBooks for $9.99 and less, while the same book in print costs more than $25. What would you prefer? Obviously, more and more people are shifting their loyalties towards eBooks. You can download eBooks in a jiffy and don’t have to visit the bookstore, which is miles away anyway. The couch potato’s have never had it better. You can browse through an online store, order an eBook and download it in a couple of minutes. In this modern world of instant gratification and Subway sandwiches, eBooks seem to be the favorite recipe for success. If you order a book online, it takes more than a day to reach you. By then you would have lost the appetite anyway. Given that cost is a great motivator, eBooks seem to be a winning proposition.
Creating new markets with ebooks
I am into outsourcing business and offer VA services. If I want to let people know more about my stuff, I can always create an eBook and either sell or give it away free. If I were to publish a physical book, it would have been almost impossible. I just can’t imagine negotiating the printing and physical distribution aspects. This is probably the beauty of E-publishing. There are exciting authors and books which are now available in eBook format. These authors would never have seen the light of day in a traditional publishing marketplace.
What will happen in future?
People out there say that printed books and eBooks would live happily together. I tend to differ. It is going to be a totally digital world. Printed books will become what dinosaurs have – extinct monsters of a lost era. You would probably find them in some old libraries and museums, with children gawking at them with awe and wonder. E-readers like Kindle and Nook have already captured the minds of people. There are millions of free downloads, legal and copyright free, which you can download and read without paying a cent. There are some who find the smell and feel of real books romantic. I feel bad for them.
Digital technology will soon consume the entire publishing world. The cost and ease of use are two factors which are extremely appealing. These factors will propel digital books into the forefront. Physical books will continue to hobble through for a few years but their death is certain. Long live the printed word but the digital world will win.
This article has been contributed by Nitin Aggarwal. He is a young entrepreneur, who owns the company Offshore Ally. His company is one of the leading providers of talented virtual assistant and link builders online. Connect with him via Twitter.