The Battle of 2010: Digital Books are Winning
What a crazy and wonderful year for authors.
It's my job to keep an eye on the publishing industry, and digital books are on the way to changing much of it—even though a good portion of the industry resists that truth.
I've been a Kindle owner since 2008. I don't like buying printed books anymore; ebooks are so much more convenient. The only time I'll buy paper is if I MUST have a particular book immediately and it hasn't yet made it to the Kindle, or if it's a book I know I'll want to make lots of notes in (certain books about writing, for example).
My Kindle has more than 600 items on it right now. Many are the free samples of books, so I can see if I'll like the voice and style before I purchase it. Kindle samples have become my TBR (to be read) pile. Two of my family members now have Kindles, too—including someone who doesn't read much.
When e-reader prices drop again in the next year or two, I think a huge swath of consumers will stop buying mass-market paperbacks and go for digital copies instead.
Authors are benefitting from the digital revolution, too. Many have gotten the rights reverted for their backlist books, then put those books up on the Kindle where they can continue to make money instead of withering into obscurity. New authors—people who have never signed a contract with a traditional publisher—are succeeding with ebooks in a way that was simply impossible before the current digital era. They also retain full control over their books.
Traditional publishing comes with many advantages, but there are also disadvantages (such as these). While I used to recommend a traditional approach for almost every new client, there's much more to consider these days.
Options make everything more interesting!