Future of Publishing: Why Print Books Have Plenty of Shelf Life Yet

Future of Publishing: Why Print Books Have Plenty of Shelf Life Yet

We all hear the commotion happening online about the rising popularity of eBooks and how the traditional publishing industry is racing to catch up.

What I find interesting is, that eBooks are seen as this all new evolution in how readers will consume books and the future of publishing, but it’s not just eBooks. It’s the advances and new opportunities in self publishing as a whole, such as POD, that has occurred over the last five years which is responsible for the current publishing waves.

Print on Demand publishing has brought the ability for us to self-publish the smart way, with distribution and publish for profit and it’s what will prolong the life of the print book for years to come.

But there’s other reasons too, let’s take a look.

Authority and positioning

This relates mostly to non-fiction authors. One of the many reasons why people look to position themselves as experts and authorities on a subject is with publishing a print book. It serves as a gold-standard business card. These authors often sell in bulk to companies and at events. eBooks simply don’t have the same weight and perceived credibility value, they just don’t. It’s possibly due to the ‘throw-away-cheap produced’ stigma slowly becoming associated with them.

Other genres outside the straight text novel

Straight text genre fiction novels are single-handedly moving the adoption of eBooks in the US forward. The eBook formatting and eReader technology is new and still in it’s infancy, so more complicated books such as children’s picture books, illustrated YA books, graphic novels and non-fiction don’t convert as easily to the simple framework that’s currently available for eBooks.

The reality of eBook adoption ‘outside’ the USA

Most of the publishing and writer audience online avidly discussing eBooks are for the most part, from the USA. The adoption rate has proven to be much slower around the rest of the world, especially here in Australia. Currently you can pass by ten people and only four of them have heard about the Kindle and only half of those again, even have one. EBooks also have much higher tax levies in Spain and Europe which slows the adoption of readers and retailers. You can read about the coverage of the slow eBook market in Brazil.

The stigma and perception of value in eBooks

As many hobbyist and entry level indie authors flood the eBook market with 0.99c books with bad covers and poor formatting, a stigma has slowly started to trend in the quality and value of eBooks.

I can see this beginning to turn full swing in time to come, when 0.99c and $1.99 eBooks are recognized and flagged by consumers as the bottom of the barrel, self published eBooks. They will gravitate towards higher priced eBooks as a way of filtering.

Only this week did I find myself pause, as I realised I reached for my print books for research and inspiration instead of my Kindle. It’s still much quicker for me to scan pages, bookmark and highlight in a print book.

It’s no question eBooks will make up a significant portion in the future of publishing, but I still see books in the digital formats being complimented by their print and audio counterparts.

Keep up the hustle!

3 Responses to Future of Publishing: Why Print Books Have Plenty of Shelf Life Yet

  1. Life Love Tarot second-edition is about to become available on kindle although on the second page I write, ‘It is my hope Life Love Tarot will have an impact on people’s lives. Lend it to your friends, or buy them a copy. Let it transform from an old book to an old tattered companion, transforming you into an extraordinary being on a journey of illusion and reality within your own little Hollywood.’ Putting my book to kindle seems a contradiction, as it would be difficult to have an e-book become a tattered companion. I love the printed book, and believe they will be around as long as man is alive, but e-books certainly have a place.
    As far as flooding the market with cheap e-books goes; yes we do seem to expect quality to have its price. The e-book version of Life Love Tarot will be launched at a cut-rate for promotional purpose and a charity fund-raiser, but will not be second-rate.
    No, I have not adopted e-books completely and it seems very few friends have. We all move with the times sooner-or-later, but there will always be a book shelf in my home bursting with the printed book.
    xxx Dawn Alice

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