…and I don’t throw out the term unconsidered.
Has anyone noticed how e-books are changing the publishing world over the last year or so? Now that I’m in the middle of it, being e-published, I’m getting a bird’s-eye view, so to speak, being e-published. This is probably worth a number of posts, but let me start here.
Paper books are still being published. I know that’s kind of obvious, but it’s worth remembering that even though e-books are widely available; anyone with a computer connected to the internet can download them. Many people have e-book readers, or apps on their phones. But the whole paper book industry is not going away anytime soon, it’s just changing.
It’s easier to get published electronically than on paper. Publishing companies publish a limited amount of books each year, their choice is based on sales, or projected sales. They don’t publish more than they think they can sell, and they can afford to be picky. Only the best of the best, in their humble opinions, are put to the press. One of the colloquialisms of writing has been : Many write but few are published. That’s changing. Now small publishing companies and enterprising young authors can publish (or self publish) without the overhead burden of a paper book. The initial investment is small for an e-book and the potential returns… well…
When more books are being published, mostly e-books, you have an increased supply without necessarily an increased demand. E-books are already cheaper, the whole no overhead thing, which helps a little with the supply/demand inequality, (Don’t get me started on free e-books, it’s a whole subject to itself.) but it doesn’t make it go away. The rule is becoming: Many are published but few are read.
I’ll talk more on that later, but for the future: I suspect e-books will become the norm. They are cheaper and easy to obtain, lighter and easier to carry. Paper books will be the luxury, the high-end market for books of quality. (Keep your books, they could be collector’s items.)