Sunday, March 13, 2011
EBOOKS VERSUS PRINT BOOKS...PREDICTING THE FUTURE
In broaching the subject of eBooks, no doubt, again, it merits continued debate as I continue to read various blogs and articles on eBooks versus print books, who's buying what, and what this all means for the future for writers and readers.
There doesn't seem to be a clear consensus one way or the other, but my own sense is that eBooks are the definite wave of the future while also making its presence felt right now.
Clearly print books are still in the driver's seat, so to speak, in terms of overall sales, keeping struggling bookstores afloat, and books on library shelves. From where I sit, there is no substitute for holding a real book in my hands and flipping from one page to the next, backtracking, or riffling through. I also love the atmosphere of a bookstore, be it an intimate independent bookshop or a chain bookseller, where my wife and I can hang out while wandering the aisles, sipping on a cappuccino and hoping to find that diamond in the rough that we must have.
However, I know people (particularly younger readers), who rely entirely on their Nooks and Kindles in reading for pleasure (and even schooling). It is pretty obvious to me that as a society, we are gravitating toward digital for movies, music, TV, and now reading. Amazon recently suggested their eBooks were outselling hardcover titles. Not too surprising here, considering the difference in price, even if most hardcover books are discounted these days, and ease in downloading and reading electronic books.
Twenty years from now, I predict that eBooks will be the primary means for reading fiction and nonfiction. Of course, for most of us writers whose livelihood is wrapped up in print sales, the coming years will be challenging, to say the least.
The best advice is to get with the program now and ease the burden later. One way I am doing this by trying to get my publishers to release out of print titles in eBook or allow me to do so. The results have been mixed thus far, but I will keep working on them.
I am also keeping an eye on the digital royalty rate for future print contracts, seeking to get as much as I can when books are released as eBooks.
Finally, I have begun putting out in eBook my out of print books for which I have the rights back, as well as original eBooks. The results have surprised and excited me. I am selling lots of copies of what has grown to be eight eBooks I control, thus far, giving me income on the side that comes in handy more often than not.
My original young adult coming of age eBook tale, HER TEEN DREAM, has been a hit sensation in Kindle and Nook; as has been my original medical mystery, MURDER IN MAUI, and eBook version of out of print legal thriller, STATE'S EVIDENCE.
I, for one, have truly embraced the digital revolution and intend to ride the wave wherever it takes me in the world of writing in print and eBook formats.
What are your thoughts on eBooks versus print books? Are your eBook versions of print books selling well?
Have you done any original eBooks in Kindle, Nook, Google eBooks, Smashwords, etc.?