SHOULD WE SAY GOODBYE TO HARDBACK BOOKS?
When was the first
time you heard about the Kindle or the Nook? Were you like me and thought it was just another passing fad? If the electronic book is a fad, then it is without doubt the most incredible fad of all time. The first Kindle was released in 2007. It had a slow start but soon became more and more popular with staggering figures within the last two years. Amazon now sells more electronic books than trade paperbacks, and the numbers are still rising.
Is it any wonder? How can the hardback and even the less expensive trade paperback compete with such an incredible device? One can easily browse the thousands of books available through Amazon, purchase them at a fraction of the cost of a hardbound book with the click of a button and they are magically downloaded to your device within seconds. If you happen to be an avid reader, you can continue downloading E Books because your Kindle literally holds thousands of books. They even thought about the ever growing population of senior citizens. If you have problems seeing small print like so many of us old geezers, they provided a simple method of changing not only the font but the size of the font as well.
I could go on and on about the neat little features these various devices have, but the real selling point is the cost of an electronic book. Back when I was a kid, a hardbound book would sell for $3 to $4. As we all know, the cost of material and labor over the years has escalated to the point now that a newly released 400 page hardbound book sells anywhere from $25 to $30, and I’ve seen some books priced at $40. If you were to download an electronic version of that same book, it would probably cost you less than $10. To make it even tougher on the publishing industry, there are thousands of books that sell for 99 cents and even more that are free! Call me crazy, but I’d say the E Book has more than just a few advantages, and it’s pretty obvious why there is such a growing interest in this new industry.
The first book that I had published was an E Book, but back then E Books were considered to be from the wrong side of the tracks. I, like so many authors, cannot be happy until I actually hold that soon-to-be-classic piece of literature in my hands. As you might have guessed, I found a new publisher and was blessed with my first trade paperback. Since then, I have enjoyed holding two more novels in my hands, but now as I look ahead to the future, it appears that the days of any author holding a printed book in his hands are numbered.
So, you tell me. Will publishers still be releasing printed books twenty years from now? It’s been going on for hundreds of years, but will these publishers be able to compete with E Books? And tell me what you think of Kindles, Nooks, and the likes. Do you own one or plan to get one? It’s a fast changing world that we live in, and this new gizmo reminds me of a steam roller heading straight for the old traditional publishers.