Sunday, September 4, 2011

PRINT BOOKS VS. DIGITAL BOOKS by Irene Latham

Continuing the discussion started by Goddess Girls authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams in their September 1 post...

When Amazon announced earlier this year that its digital sales outnumbered its traditional print-bound book sales 2 to 1, authors started writing eulogies and singing dirges. But I think that kind of drama is not only premature, it's completely unnecessary. Here's why:

1. Even though I used "vs." in the header of this post, it really isn't a contest between print and digital. The onset of digital publishing means more sales, more opportunities for authors. At least if what's happened in the music industry is any indication.

2. Humans -- at least modern day humans -- are collectors by nature. No matter how many e-versions come along, the instinct and urge will be to collect those well-loved volumes, to pet them and admire them. There will always be bookshelves filled with volumes.

3. Books are like candles.

This is not my original thought, but it is one I have clung to after hearing it sometime during my 2011 travels. It makes perfect sense to me: theoretically, electricity makes candles unnecessary. But people still buy them, just in case. And some people buy them just for pleasure. (See #2 above.)

So. If you've been worrying, stop right now. Break out the emergency stash of tea lights and remember it's the same for books.

4 comments:

  1. I love the candle comparison, Irene! So true...I also love the point you make about seeing digital books as an additional venue for sales, rather than as a competitor...

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  2. Plus, it's harder to take an ereader into a bath. :) Good points, and thank you!

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  3. You're so right! I love my candles.

    sf

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  4. And how can I treasure a signed E-reader? I adore my books (even though I have a Kindle)and think we have room for both!) Thanks, Irene for the lovely post.

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