Monday, January 16, 2012




                      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.

12 comments:

  1. I do own a Kindle and wouldn't give it up! We are more computer literate than our folks were, our children are more literate than we are, so it stands to reason that in 20 years things will be very different! That being said, I don't think Kindles will ever take the place of the "old classics" that were written long ago, however, anything written in this century better be ready and able to be down loaded...I think this is the future of literature!

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  2. I think there will always be those who choose 'real' books over electronic ones. we own a Kindle Fire, and an iPad as well. But I think the timeless classics will always read better from a 'real' book.

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  3. I have read the "Road Back Home" and could not put it down until I was finished. I can't wait to read the next one. Good Job Scott!! Dave

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  4. I personally like to hold the book in my hands. I am slowly realizing there are a lot of benifits to Kindles and such. My students love them and continue to ask me to get one. I think as long as people are reading and it is drawing them into the stories and teaching them the power of words, I don't care what form the book comes in!

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  5. My favorite is "A Summer Harvest". Takes you back to the carefree days and I also couldn't put the book down!

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  6. I contacting my library to add these books in print edition...... I still pour over the used books anywhere I go and have a decent library collected. I bought an "alluratek" which I get a lot of use from especially while taveling as it is so convenient. I don't see it or its Kindle cousins replacing bound books in my lifetime. http://aluratek.com/libre-ebook-reader-pro-black

    LIBRE eBook Reader PRO (Black) |

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  7. I feel books will be around for awhile because some people are not adapting to the newest technology that is offered out there. More people like the old fashioned hand-held books as opposed to electronic version. Kindles might be good electronic device for some people, but not to everybody.

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  8. Unfortunately, print books are a thing of the past. First, today's youth prefer electronic devices, which is not just a fad. As a result in 2100, a print book will be viewed as a dinosaur. Next, the cost as you mentioned. As a former school superintentent, my community expected me to provide the best education for students at the least expensive cost. So, e-textbooks are the ideal solution. Besides, why should students carry a heavy book bag when they can carry a lightweight tablet that holds all their books. In addition, e-books can be updated easily. A print history text typically does not have the current president's accomplishments as opposed to an e-book that can have last week's current event if the publisher chooses. Although I don't own a kindle or nook, I read a lot of pdf files from my computer and smartphone.

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  9. I really can't get into kindles, nooks, crannies or whatever technology brings us. Maybe it's because I'm old skool but I much rather prefer a book in my hand than something electronic. Who's to say you wouldn't lose all that information at some point in your life? Then what? At least with a book, if you lose it, it's your fault and they are pretty easily obtainable. Still, it's an interesting direction they are going with electronic books, and it does save on trees, but it's just another profit from a greedy corporation. Another interesting thing to point out is the works of fiction. Can you honestly get excited for the next installment of your favorite series out of a kindle? It's like viewing the cover on Amazon.com. You will never get to see it in its physical form? You will always look at that cover electronically and for that is a shame. It will never have the same impact as going to your local bookstore and seeing it in plain view. This will also help lose more jobs as more bookstores will be forced to close down. I can go on forever about this. Bottom line: Electronic books suck.

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  10. The next generation that can't seem to keep their attention focused away from their phones for more than five seconds will determine the future on that one. Paper products will fade away. Costs for print will skyrocket without the lowering effects of mass production.But personally there is nothing as satisfying as a compelling page turner.

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