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Is the printed book becoming a relic of the past?

When I was in college, I loved to go to the library to study, sit in a nice comfortable chair, and read until I fell asleep. When Borders launched its blockbuster neighborhood bookstores, I did the same, often leaving the store with a book that I had the pleasure of trying out in the same comfortable way. Now, most people buy their books online and read them on their Kindle.

An Internet phenomenon has been the consolidation of retailers into new monopolies. Retailers like Netflix replaced blockbuster stores like Blockbuster Video, which found it impossible to maintain their brick-and-mortar retail stores in the face of the power of the Internet and the popularity of streaming. Newspapers have become outdated through the more expeditious publication of the written word and, consequently, journalism has had to adapt to try to maintain some kind of quality.

The same has happened with the publishing industry and traditional bookstores. Borders, one of the “blockbusters” of books, was gobbled up by Barnes and Noble, which now considers Amazon its main competitor. Amazon has developed a suite of tools that allows authors to enter the publishing industry, a place once reserved for the elite and more closed than the world of Hollywood cinema.

A recent study found that almost 70 per cent of consumers say they are unlikely to give up print books by 2016, and British market research agency Voxburner recently surveyed more than 1,400 people, aged 16 to 24. about their media consumption habits. ; the survey found that 62% of respondents said they prefer print books to e-books.

I was surprised by these findings because I was sure that eBook sales had been growing at an exponential rate. BookStats’ annual study reports that 457 million e-books were sold last year; an increase of 4456% since 2008, when 10 million were sold (http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2013/05/15/e-book-sales/2159117/). Although sales of print titles are higher, one cannot ignore the steady increase in the number of sales of e-books, which I still think is the future of publishing. I think you have to take demographics into account, as most older readers will naturally choose a print book, while younger readers, who tend to do their homework on their laptops, will opt for an e-book.

According to New York Times bestselling author Hugh Howey, who has turned his back on the publishing industry and is now publishing his own books, makes more money self-publishing and frees up time that would be using agents of persecution. and publishers to write more and better books.

Print books are still being bought because non-Gen Y readers are slow to convert to Kindle. They prefer to have a printed book in their hands, so there will be a market for the printed book in the near future. However, e-book sales continue to rise, and older readers are buying Kindles. Impulse buying is much stronger with e-books, which are delivered instantly, and are cheaper than print books. I think the reading public will continue to prefer print books, but over time, e-book sales will outpace them, simply due to demographics.

My eBooks have print versions that are sold on Amazon and also offered at Barnes and Noble. Although they only sell online, online book sales account for more than 50% of all book sales, as Digital Book World recently reported (http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/online-retail-now -accounts-for- nearly half of all US book sales/). I think the trend is for online sales to take over traditional retail. We have seen a lot of bookstore closures and consolidations in recent years and I think we may continue to see more. I myself will miss being able to walk into a bookstore, pick up a book and relax in an overstuffed chair while I try out its passages to see if I want to buy it, but there is no denying the trend. My e-book sales are still about three times as high as my print book sales, but the option is there to appeal to both markets, and that’s what Amazon is doing by giving authors their “Create Space” platform. .

I think publishers need to offer both print and eBook formats to appeal to both sides of the market. In the end, it is the quality of the book and the promotions that are used to publicize it rather than the medium that you are going to control. Like any other product, you need to package it and offer it to the consumer in a way that will entice their clothing purchase.

However, as the reading public ages, new readers will be almost exclusively oriented towards e-books. I regret the disappearance of the printed book, but I don’t see anything that can be done about it, except to preserve them in libraries and museums. With the trend toward iPads and Kindles, and public schools even proposing to issue iPads to students, young people will eventually grow up not knowing what it’s like to read a printed book. Technology will do to the book what it has done to the printed newspaper.

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