The Current State of E-Readers | An Author’s Guide (Part I)

We’ve crossed the Rubicon, dear readers.  There’s no going back, when it comes to the print vs. digital divide, at least if we’re speaking on the commercial level.  There are quite substantial numbers of readers who are introduced to books via their smartphones and computer screens and then move into the musty world of mahogany bookshelves and neighborhood used-book stores … but these numbers represent not so much a desertion of one form for another, but rather the natural progression of addicts who will simply, and always, want more–more good words strung together, more stories in their hands, more eyes to peer through and lives to live in the way that only literature makes possible.

I’m here to speak about e-books and e-readers this week and in the weeks to come.  We’ve just finished a tour-de-force marathon of social media platforms spanning several months, so it’s time for a bit of a change of pace … but without sacrificing our desire to examine trends and patterns and possibilities with the fine eye of a book connoisseur.

ereaders

The data is in, and readers have spoken.  As this infographic (courtesy of Publishing Technology and Nielson BookScan) shows, e-book sales dropped slightly from an all-time high in early 2014, but they’re not going anywhere fast.  (I should also note that the initial speculations for this year seem to indicate continued stability.)  The digital market has matured, and readers are simply spreading their pocket change around, and being more selective as they do so.  Essentially, it’s not just “still” useful to publish your books in digital form, but it’s actually more useful than ever–readers now know how to find what they like, as the information infrastructure–including indexing search engines like Google and Bing, and social media platforms with a literary bent like Goodreads–has matured alongside the market itself.

ebooks vs print

But how does an author, especially an indie, hybrid, or self-published author, go about figuring out how to navigate both the debate and the process?  Well, first, you have to know a little bit about e-books and e-readers themselves.

And so we dive off into the deep end of a new series.  This time I’m going to walk you through the process by examining each big player in the e-reading market (past and present and future, at least so far as I can see it), from Kindles to Nooks to iPads to chips implanted into your brain.  Okay, okay, I’m kidding about that last one … for now.  In all seriousness, I hope that this series will be of use to you as you take next steps into the oft-hazy world of digital publication!

Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

The New Kindle Fire: The Next Hottest Thing in Publishing

In just two days (on September 14, 2012), the new Kindle Fire will be released. This handheld device will change the way people read and the way authors publish books. Here are a few of the details.

  • 40% faster performance, twice the memory, longer battery life
  • Perfect portability – thin, light, and durable
  • Over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and
    popular apps and games
  • Ultra-fast web browsing over built-in Wi-Fi
  • Free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Kindle FreeTime – a personalized tablet experience just for kids. Set
    daily screen limits, and give access to appropriate content for each child. Free
    on every Kindle Fire.
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – Kindle owners can choose from more than 180,000
    books to borrow for free with no due dates, including over 100 current and
    former New York Times best sellers and all seven Harry Potter books.
  • No Set-up Required
  • Read-to-Me — With Text-to-Speech, Kindle Fire can read English-language content out loud to you, when available from the publisher.
  • 1-Click Shopping

Readers are sure to love the convenience and upgraded technology offered by the Kindle Fire. Thanks to Kindle FreeTime, even children will be able to enjoy the hot , new device.

E-readers are already changing the way consumers buy and read books, and they are becoming increasingly popular. It is important that self-published authors offer a Kindle version of their books to meet the needs of readers who prefer using e-readers. By offering both a print and electronic version of your book, you can target a larger market and reach more customers. This will ultimately lead to more sales.

To learn more about the Kindle Fire, click here.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.