It may not be Happening Overnight, but it is Happening
Some people still love paper books. Starting from infancy all the way through adulthood, book reading has had a fundamental role in people’s daily existence. Excellent books expand horizons and stimulate imagination; they enable us to think differently and they let us evade and create new worlds. Sadly, technology has interfered with the way people read. The whole experience has been altered; content is now created, devoured and distributed in a whole new manner.
Advanced technology makes us think differently and act in unexpected ways. We live in a world of iPads and eReaders, and whether we want to admit it or not, fewer and fewer of us read paper books. Technology has completely altered our reading habits, although there’s still something special about the way an actual book feels in our hands. Some people hate digital books because they’re so ugly and impersonal; you can’t really relate to eReaders and Kindles because even if they look like paper copies, they don’t smell like paper.
The rise of the e-book
Over the past 5 years we’ve seen sales for iPads, Nooks and Kindles skyrocket, thus driving incredible revenue. In February 2011, a report from the Association of American Publishers highlighted that e-book sales exceeded $90 million. The percentage grew with 202% compared with the same period a year before. Sales for audiobooks also increased by 36.7%; Amazon claims to sells 180 e-books every 100 paper books, which basically means people are slowly shifting their attention towards digital content.
We’re currently witnessing an explosion in digital devices with more than one option to access content. International shipment for media tablets increased with 88.9% in 2011, when over 13.6 million units were delivered overseas. Given that these devices get mass market saturation, publishers have higher chances of making a profit from the digital versions of their books. And given that technology is constantly advancing, digital content will soon be sent out in a much more interactive format, thus completely changing the publishing industry.
Increased interactivity is big potential plus for the textbook market, where the move to digital has also been slower to evolve than many would have expected.
E-books can offer unparalleled reading experiences
Electronic content has completely changed the way we read books. Today’s e-readers prevail in higher educational systems, and major publishers have already started to improve the general capabilities of their tablets. Past simple text, advanced e-books feature extra content including multimedia features, animations, and interactive hyperlinks. All these additional add-ons were meant to keep the reader engaged and motivated to keep reading.
E-readers and media tablets have almost saturated the market. Plain black & white devices have been completely replaced with colorful e-readers that have 3G connectivity, touch screens, and access to the internet, including access to photography, music, movies, language translation and animations. What’s great about tablets and kindles is that their price is constantly decreasing; the demand is high enough but the supply is even higher, and manufacturers are constantly struggling to surpass their competitors. Surprisingly, smartphones are increasing in size as well, and the bigger they get the higher chances they have to become reading platforms, too.
E-publishing is planning on conquering the market
Even though paper books still exist, most of them are available in online versions, too. Digitized versions are an important part of the brand, and their main purpose is to expand the book’s appeal. Considering that digital platforms are becoming widespread, publishers are finally starting to understand the clear benefits of e-books. Printing and distribution costs are diminished, and buyers are a click away from their favorite authors.
Thanks to advanced technology, a brand new type of publishing has recently hit the market – self-publishing. Authors create books for a targeted audience and they turn to self-publishing in the hopes of launching their careers and getting their big break. Newest platforms such as Hyperink make publishing incredibly easy because they streamline the whole experience. A standard manuscript that demands 9 months to get published, takes roughly 30 days to show up on Hyperink.
We have to admit that technology has completely changed the way we perceive books. Paper books are still en vogue because they’re palpable and they feel vintage; on the other hand, we have e-books, which are cheaper, fun to handle and a lot more interactive. We can’t guarantee that 10 years from now ebooks will rule the market. But we can assume that digitized books and e-textbooks have a bright future ahead of them.
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