Friday, June 22, 2012

Explosion Felt Around the World

It wasn’t a bomb. It wasn’t a ruptured gas main. It was the explosion of the eReader. Taking the market by storm, the eReader is a device that is fast becoming the way of the future, almost guaranteeing the demise of bricks and mortar bookstores. Kindle (the leading eReader) and NOOK will change the way you read books forever.
Gone will be the days of being able to hold your book in your hands and sitting back for a relaxing read. You won’t be able to touch the pages, smell the book, and when you’re finished reading it, place it on the shelf with the rest of your collection.
Instead, you’ll be reading from an eReader—if you aren’t already. They’re small, easy to use, and the books are cheap. The eReader allows you to download and store hundreds of books, making it possible for you to carry your entire collection with you wherever you go. It’s lightweight and compact, so it’ll fit almost anywhere.
Need large print, you say? Got you covered. Select Font Size and change the size of the words. You’ll no longer have to buy the more expensive large print version of a book to be able to read the words. Afraid your eyes will get tired like they do when you read from a computer screen? Nope. They’ve added a non-glare feature, and some even have a night light for reading in the dark. They’re thought of everything. And if you don’t actually have a Kindle or a NOOK, you can download an app to your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, and any Android-based devices. So now you can read a book on your cell phone! How cool is that? It’s so easy.
Think you can’t afford an eReader? Let’s talk about cost verses quantity/quality. That’s a no-brainer! A Kindle can be purchased for as little as $79, and then you can download free books all day long. A book in physical form averages $24.95 for hardcover editions. 3 books @ $24.95= $74.85. For a few dollars more, you could’ve bought a Kindle and download some of those same books for $0.99. On the average, most books on Kindle sell for $2.99. Now, that’s saving money! Cheap reads with the same quality as a printed book.  
With all this new technology, how can anyone expect the printed word in physical book form to survive? They can’t, and it won’t. I’m sorry to say, but that day is fading fast. Trade Publishers, printers, and those who work in the book publishing industry are already feeling the pinch. Publishers are taking on fewer and fewer new authors, relying on the more well-known and bestselling ones to keep them afloat. They can’t take the risk of publishing an unknown author in a market so weak.
Printing companies who once required a minimum of a 100,000 copy print run have now lowered their minimum to as few as 500 copies. There’s little profit for book printers in amounts that small, but it’s better than the alternative. Any money is better than nothing. Lowering their minimum amount has been a plus for self-publishers and independent publishers, but even those publishers are giving up on the printed book and making the leap to publishing on the internet. It cost little to nothing to publish on Amazon’s Kindle or B&N’s NOOK, and by going this route, it eliminates storing and shipping of books. It’s all done wireless.
If you think I’m just trying to plug the eReader over the printed book, I’m not. I publish my books in print form because I, too, love to hold a book in my hands. But things change, and we have to change with them. Actually, we’re not given much choice. Think about the 8-track tapes. Yeah, the 8-track tapes. I don’t need to tell you how far we’ve come since then in how we listen to our music. I guess progress always wins out, and that’s not a bad thing, is it?
So, if you don’t have an eReader of some sort, you might as well break down and buy one. Modern technology has taken over, and we’re leaving the printed book on the side of the road.
Farewell my old friend.
Your humble book lover,
Ann Mullen

No comments: