|I don't think so!|
Many conversations about the future of books, publishing and reading seem to be gloomy these days. I read blogs, hear radio conversations and even meet authors that think authors will suffer great income loss over:
A. the introduction of ebooks
B. cheap ebooks (99c)C. competing with tv, movies, internet and gaming for children's attention.
I say phooey to all that. I think the future of books is brighter than it's ever been. Here's how I validate my excitement for this industry:
- The introduction of ebooks has enabled MORE people to access fiction in a variety of mediums.
- By having a novel available online, you have opened your readership up globally. You don't have to rely on only reaching a national market. If an Australian publisher prints one of my novels, I will still have to try to secure an agent/publisher for each other international market such as the UK or US.
- Cheap ebooks have excited readers and tweaked an interest in otherwise cautious customers. This in turn develops a fad of reading, the more you read the more you want to read. 99c will gain initial interest, but readers will evolve to be more aware of their own taste and more discerning towards the quality of fiction they read. I now scrutinize my purchases and do not base my choice on price. I trust other readers to do the same.
- Hooray for technological distractions. The iPads, laptops and iPhones might be popular with teens for the games they supply but the wonderful phenomenon I'm noticing is kids that wouldn't usually want to buy books now want to, all because they can download them onto their iPod etc. I had a yr7 media class (12-13yr olds) and introduced them to online books via Amazon. I showed them how you can get Kindle for your iPod. They were all so excited about this and most downloaded the app. A lot of these kids would have scrunched their noses up at me suggesting they borrow a book from a library.
- Ebooks are making reading a very popular trend. This in turn makes people want to own books and buy books for their shelves as well as their iPads. It has almost become a fashion statement for our living rooms. Don't believe books are trendy? Department store catalogues are expensive to produce and distribute, this makes space on them prime real estate. As you can imagine, front page is pretty special. In the past. I've only noticed books get a small corner of a page in the middle somewhere. Yesterday I was so surprised and pleased to see a Big W catalogue feature the first TEN pages all for books and that they now sell the Amazon Kindle here in Australia!
So, aren't you excited?!