Sunday, June 04, 2006

Why would any one be interested in ebooks?

I’ve already written about eBooks, but I’m hosting a panel on the subject for SciFi Summer in Atlanta in a couple of weeks, so I’ve been brushing up a few remarks regarding this new form of publishing. While both of my books have both eBook and trade paperback editions, I have sold far more print copies. Yet, as a book buying customer, I have gradually increased the number of eBooks I am buying. For me, three things matter most: a title I would want to read (regardless of format), a good price, and, a format that works on my Palm Tungsten E. Until I got that handy little device, I only read a few eBooks, b/c toting a laptop is worse than toting a book. However, the last time I counted, I had about 50 titles on my Palm, with room for a few more, and it takes up less space in my purse than my wallet.

As I’ve cruised around the net, I have found several articles touting ePublishing. Based on that research, here are some reasons to consider eBook purchases or having your book ePublished:

•eBooks don’t require paper or ink, so they are less costly to produce
•due to this cost-effectiveness, eBooks can be cost-effective for niche books that wouldn’t interest traditional publishing
•eBooks are more compact (hundreds can be held in a single PDA, dedicated eBook reader, or laptop)
•eBooks are more environmentally sound, with no physical product to throw away
•eBooks do provide accessibility via flexible font size
•eBooks can be updated and/or corrected more easily
•eBooks can be electronically searched
•eBooks provide instant gratification, which is just a download away. The next book in a series can be purchased instantly without the need for a trip to the bookstore or a wait for physical delivery of a paper product.

My website’s “links” page includes a link to the bestselling eBooks from 2005, and you’re going to find some familiar titles there. I’ve heard a few nay-sayers who proclaim that no one is reading, buying, or selling eBooks. Nope, these books, authors, and publishers are the only segment of the publishing industry growing in double digits, and while print books certainly still sell better, this technology will eventually change publishing.

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