The Truth About Self-Publishing eBooks
Becoming a successful writer is no longer as simple as creating quality work. Traditional publishers are dealing with a decrease in profits every year and are responding by laying off editors, closing down niche publishing branches and becoming much less willing to take a risk on previously unpublished up and coming authors. The good news is that with the decline of traditional publishers, your chances for reaching a wide audience are great than ever before.
The Future of the Publishing Industry
There is no question that ePublishing is here to stay. Sales of eBook readers like the Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon’s Kindle are ever increasing. In 2009 eBooks made up only about 3% – 5% of the entire publishing market – but saw an increase of a staggering 177% compared to 2008. Experts predict that by 2016 eBooks will account for up to 80% of all books sold.
The History of eBook Readers
How Amazon Changed the ePublishing Industry
When Amazon introduced their Kindle e-reading device, they knew it would be a hard sell. Many readers are used to holding a physical book in their hands and were reluctant to switch formats, while mainstream publishers were hesitant to get into new and untested waters. Luckily, Amazon had a plan. They struck a deal with popular publishers and purchased the e-rights to their books for $14.99 per sale – more than most publishers receive for a paper book sale – and sold those books to the public for $9.99 per sale.
A Small Loss Turns Into a Big Gain
Many in the industry wondered how this could possibly work, as Amazon was taking a loss on every single book they sold, but there was a method to their madness. Amazon knew that if they could offer eBooks at low prices, then more people would be willing to give eBooks a try, and they knew that once people tried eBooks they would be won over. Now, just a few years later, over 10% of Americans own an eBook reader and authors are self-publishing eBooks with great success.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
As with any new technology, many authors wonder if this is just another fad. After all, 40% of Americans say that they read just 1 book per year – or less! But what about those other 60%? Well, the studies are in and they show that books from eBook publishers are not only being read more and more – but people who read eBooks are reading more books than they did before they purchased their e-reader. Harris Interactive completed a comprehensive study of more than 2,770 eBook users and discovered the following:
- 53% of people who own an e-reader now read more than they did before they had one.
- 51% of e-readers bought more books in the last year than they did in previous years while only 9% of consumers bought more hardcover books last year than in previous years.
- The average person with an e-reader reads 2.6 books per month compared to only 1.9 books per month for print readers.
- 51% of people with an e-reader read on a daily basis.
E-Reading Options — Readers Can Customize Their Reading Experience
One of the reasons that eBooks are becoming more popular is because readers have many options that allow them to customize their reading experience. The main e-readers are:
- There are currently over 950,000 eBook titles available in the Amazon Marketplace
- For every 100 hardcover books Amazon sells, they sell 143 eBooks
- Kindle owners purchase more than 3 times as many books as they did before they owned a Kindle
- Over 5 million eBooks were downloaded in the first 65 days the iPad was available
- The iPad is not just an e-reader and so it has the added advantage of being able to be used for a wide variety of tasks
- Barnes & Noble device with over 2 million eBooks available
- The first e-reader to offer touch screen navigation
- An expansion card allows the user to hold up to 17,500 eBooks in one spot
The eBook Bottom Line — eBook Publishing is Here to Stay
The future of publishing is clear. If you want to reach the maximum number of potential readers, if you want to keep a larger percentage of your sales and if you want total control over what you publish, then e-publishing is the only choice for you.