5 E-Book Trends Stirring Up The Publishing Industry
December 16, 2011 By Leona DeRosa Bodie
Although the publishing industry is dramatically changing, how is technology rewriting the rules?
My predictions are . . . e-book sales in the not-so-distant future will outpace their print counterparts. Yet, I don’t see the printed book format disappearing in the next 20 years. My perspective though is different from my son’s. He advocates we ditch printed books in favor of digital alternatives. I still want the option to have both or at least the right to choose between print and e-book versions. However, when 2084 rolls around, I’d wager it’ll boil down to no choice at all.
Recently, a 90-year-old fan surprised me when she flashed out her Kindle and downloaded my title with the flair of a twenty-something. For sure, the e-book revolution is cross generational, here to stay and its launch has upended the publishing industry. For way too long, just a few guided what came to market. Now everyone has equal access to publishing. New devices and the means of consuming content are changing the industry. Today’s technologies mean mass market exposure is easier and faster with less investment for readers, authors and publishers. Another upside is more royalties.
There are 20 other dedicated e-readers, but only two real contenders. Between the Kindle and Nook, I see Barnes and Noble’s product eventually lagging in the doldrums with Kindle surging ahead in popularity. The latter will capture the market share. Thanks to Amazon’s continuous improvement and technology advances, their e-reader capabilities will evolve. Enhanced e-books are coming. That innovation will be the key to growth, competition and sustainability.
We are also moving into a visual culture. Who would have thought 20 years ago that people would read a book on the phone? However, consumers want portability of titles from one device to another, a.k.a. convenience. So all future book content must be adaptable and accessible, no matter whether the public’s choice of delivery is via tablets or smart phones, e-readers, iPads or any other gadgets out there. For example, Kindle also works on the iPad, iPhone, and computers.
Most e-books today are the same as print, just in digital form. The e-book of the-near-future will be interactive. As digital publishers race toward multimedia content, they will capitalize on tomorrow’s bleeding edge technologies. For this reason, more traditional publishers and individual authors will partner with integrated media companies to release digital editions that are more akin to software than anything we seen thus far. Yesterday’s VCR in today’s living room is just as prehistoric as today’s Kindle with digitized text a decade from now.
Technology will drive Amazon and continue to revolutionize the book industry!
Leona Bodie is currently Vice President and serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Writers Association, a statewide, nonprofit organization of 1,200 members. Her career took her from high school English teacher to a biotechnology executive and president of the Greater Miami Society of Human Resource Management before she shifted to writing books. She’s the author of the digital short “Cocooned in Darkness,” the upcoming book FEAR THE WHISPERS, and her debut thriller SHADOW CAY, is the recipient of 4 literary awards. For more details about Leona Bodie and her books, please visit: www.leonabodie.com.