ebooks Rapidly Gaining Popularity

ebook readers

ebook readers

In a February survey by the Pew Research Center, 21% of 3,000 adults revealed said they had read a e-book in the last year, compared to 17% who reported doing so in December.  The Reading Habits Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 One-fifth of American adults (21%) report that they have read an e-book in the past year, and this number increased following a gift-giving season spike in ownership of e-reader devices that occurred during the holiday gift-giving season in December, when ownership of either an e-book reader or a tablet each increased to 19% of adults, compared to 10% for each device in mid-December, and by February, 2012, the share increased to 21%.

books glasses image

books

The prevalence of e-book reading is growing as attitudes and technology are changing ways that books are made available to the public, but printed books still dominate the world of book readers. In a head-to-head competition, people prefer e-books to printed books when they want speedy access and portability, but print wins out when people are reading to children and sharing books with others.

ebook stack

ebook stack

Bloggers are communicators and as the saying goes:  “Everyone has a book in them”.  I’ve previously published Bloggers:Publish your book, ebook, or your blog  containing 4 free ways to get the job done as well as 3 other resources. Scott Berkun has self-published an ebook called Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds and shared his tips in How to turn your blog into a book.

“The same rule applies to self-published e-books as it does to print books. You have to start with a good product if you have any hope of selling it. ” —  David Carnoy in How to self-publish an ebook

Discussion

Have you ever published an ebook?
Are you considering publishing some or all of your blog content as an ebook?

33 thoughts on “ebooks Rapidly Gaining Popularity

  1. Paper or electrons? Paper, please! How else can I enjoy the delights of physically browsing in murky used bookstores, and rummaging among card tables in library cellars and parking lots?? : )

    I hope to have a go at self-publishing someday– so many thanks for all the helpful links!!

    • I’m into printed books too. I’m especially drawn to second-hand bookstores as are most former librarians. However, one day I may self publish and I may buy an e-reader too.

  2. Yes, I’ve published ebooks. I also generate the ones I’m working on frequently and use the Kindle to read them. For that matter, I share them with my readers in that format and then send me their feedback by mailing me the file and the database. It works fairly well as a process. In general, I generate a .prc file using mobipocket creator and mail that to my readers. When they add comments, the Kindle creates a .mbp file. When they mail me the .prc and .mbp, I can opn the .prc on my Kindle and all their comments appear. (You do have to overwrite any existing .prc and .mbp files, so you may want to save the old ones if you have multiple readers).

    Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t integrate this process for me, or I’d be able to upload my own ebooks and read them on my phone as well. This does work for iphone, but not for the Kindle reader on Androids. (Thanks for giving iOS a leg up Amazon – who got paid for that decision)?

    There are ways around this, of course. You can still transfer the .prc file to your phone, but you have to use an app other than Kindle Reader to read it.

    My children’s books do very poorly on Amazon (and poorly in general). This isn’t because the stories are crap. It’s more because there aren’t that many children using a Kindle. I suspect this will change as time goes on. The other reason is because I don’t advertise. It’s not like I’m doing this for money. I just like to write, so it’s more of a hobby, and more for my own kids. My current series (fantasy) is more adult oriented and more serious. I’ve spent about two years working on it. I’ll probably try the traditional route (query letters) once its ready. I figure that after about 80 rejection letters (that’s my cap) I’ll put the first one out for free on Amazon and let the chips fall, charging for the other two in the trilogy – probably around a buck. A lot of authors are doing this with series now if they self publish.

    • Hy there,
      I’m sorry it took so long for me to respond to your comment. I really appreciated reading about your experience as this is unknown territory for me.

  3. I think about producing a book from time to time, but my attention span these days seems to put a damper on it! If I did, I’d probably try to self-publish in ‘paper’ first and then in e-book format. I much prefer traditional paper books – but recently have seen a few books that are only available as e-books and am thinking of using the Amazon free kindle app, then I can read them on the computer without having to buy an actual Kindle. I can’t really justify spending money on one right now.

    • I prefer paper books at this point too but I’m not ruling out buying an ebook reader in the future. Woah! What an interesting tidbit – using the Amazon free kindle app, then I can read them on the computer without having to buy an actual Kindle. Sounds good to me.

  4. The numbers you reference and why ebooks are gaining ground, makes so much sense in light of recent tech developments. I think I’ve been on the fence (or maybe hibernation) for long enough. Time to begin again. Of course, it would help if I got up to date on the technologies people are using to read them. I’ve never even owned a cell phone, let alone a tablet or an e-book reader ;-)

    By the way, I love the header photo over the offset background images. So cool.

    John

    • Hello John,
      I have never owned a cell phone or an e-reader or a tablet either. We choose to live a very simple life and when my husband was offered a mobile phone along with his new position he smiled and said: “Thanks but no thanks. I don’t need or want another monthly bill to pay. ” When he got home he said to me: “Only the techno-addicted want to be available 24 hours a day – 365 days of the year.”

      P.S. Thanks for the compliment. :)

      • Hi,

        I’ve just recently acquired all three gadgets mentioned after going years without them. Now I don’t consider myself a techie because I don’t have to have the latest and greatest versions of stuff. I tend to wait ’til things have been out for awhile then get However I like getting the most for my money.

        I got the ereader because I love to read and the subject I’ve been reading/studying lately are books that I refer back to over and over again. I like having all those books handy when I want to go out and read/study under the shade of a tree. Plus I live in a small house, so a huge library that I’d love to have is a no-go.

        My cell is going to replace my land-line phone and the tablet is one of the cheaper ones and for blog reading outside. But the techno invention that I make use of daily is the off button. ;-) I have no desire to be reached 24/7/365. Lol

    • Some of the means for creating e-books are free of charge. If creating the e-book is free then why not offer it for no charge or for a low charge so everyone who wants a copy can have one?

  5. Reblogged this on Cheryl Andrews and commented:
    Time Thief asks:
    Have you ever published an ebook?
    Are you considering publishing some or all of your blog content as an ebook?
    She provides some great links and advice on how to e-publish.

    • Hi Cheryl,
      Thanks for thinking my post was worthy of reblogging. I think your short shorts or postcards about life would be candidates for an e-book. Best wishes to you.

  6. “There’s just one major gripe about pricing. With ebooks there are no storage or transport costs involved, and production costs are a fraction of what a print book entails – so why do they cost as much as print books? That really cannot be justified.”

    I’m not certain Ron if you live a major city in the UK. In North America, the major (big city) public libraries are getting into e-books which would probably lower the price or just might be free for a short time period. They would be buying a license.

    • Thanks for that comment made in response to Ron’s, Jean. I’ll be checking out my local library to see if they do offer e-books on loan.

    • Hi Jean,

      I live in a small town, one with all the advantages of a wilderness (seriously – I’ve lived in villages with more, and better, facilities). My local library is the central library (major library in the area), and not really accessible in a powerchair. The building is – the library itself is so full of dump bins, pointless displays of books that would be better on the shelves, and miscellaneous junk, that it’s just hopeless.

      Still, now that you mention it I might see what they’re doing with ebooks online – I think they might have cracked the Internet by now ;)

      Ron

  7. I got my Kindle 3 in the first tranche, here in the UK, the idea being, as every available space was taken up by some 2,000 books in a very small apartment, ebooks would save me disappearing completely. Didn’t work out that way.

    I’m something of a foodie (when I’m able to cook or bake, which isn’t as often as I’d like), and such books simply don’t lend themselves to the ebook format (flicking back and forth through a book is a major ereader weakness). In addition, I have long-running fiction collections by a couple of authors, and it simply wouldn’t feel right to switch to ebooks, so I’ll continue to buy hardbacks.

    That’s not to say my Kindle has been neglected, as it has something like 300 books currently installed, most of which have been read, plus 4 new ones just a day or so ago, but far from slowing down my print book buying, it seems to have increased it, as I increasingly find that titles I want aren’t available for Kindle.

    There’s a problem, too, in that e-formatting often doesn’t reflect the print formatting. Terry Pratchett, for example, is fond of inserting jokes as footnotes. In the one book of his I bought for Kindle, all the footnotes had been relegated to the back of the book – utterly useless away from the pages they were intended to enhance.

    I recently bought Claudia Roden’s The Food of Spain, an excellent book which turned out to be mostly unreadable as it weighs almost 5lb – more than I can hold these days (I’m terminally ill). There’s a crying need for a full-colour ereader that can display images – a touch screen is an irrelevance (I have Kobo Touch, I’m not impressed) – but page navigation that’s as slick as a print book is essential, however it’s devised. I hope it comes soon.

    And, whoever you are that’s about to suggest an iPad – please don’t – that completely misses the point by being both bigger and heavier than an ereader, not to mention insanely overpriced.

    There’s just one major gripe about pricing. With ebooks there are no storage or transport costs involved, and production costs are a fraction of what a print book entails – so why do they cost as much as print books? That really cannot be justified. (And bear in mind I’m referring to the UK, I don’t know what the situation is in the US.) If there isn’t a realistic price differential between print books and ebooks, I really can’t see ebooks ever dominating the market. It’s all about perceived value as much as real value, and firing a stream of electrons down the line does not seem to be the same value as a solid, hardback book in one’s hand. Nor, as I’ve said, did it cost anywhere near as much to produce – the profiteering by publishers needs to end, and soon, before they wreck the market.

    • Hi Ron,
      Thank you so much for sharing your e-book experiences here. I value your comment and especially these observations:

      1. cookbooks simply don’t lend themselves to the ebook format
      2. e-formatting often doesn’t reflect the print formatting ie. all the footnotes had been relegated to the back of the book
      3. need for a full-colour e-reader that can display images

      Wishing you the best always,
      TiTi

    • I recently got a Kindle Fire and fell in love instantly which really surprised me so much I wrote a post about it lol. I still love my dead tree books, and magazines especially, but the e-readers are, I think, here to stay. I do, however TOTALLY agree with you about the price. I do feel as if it’s a big rip-off at the moment, when you look at how some people still want to price their e-books.

  8. I’m glad they’re gaining popularity. Love my Kindle, love love love it. Anything I might want to read at my fingertips. No more huge pile of books and magazines to recycle or dust and figure out what to do with. The only time I buy a paper book anymore is if it’s not available in an eformat. Or if I’m desperate at an airport and the battery on the reader pooped out.

    • Hello there,
      You aren’t the only person I know who loves their Kindle. Maybe one day I’ll invest in one but at this point in time I’m still reading printed books. Some are very old books that I choose to read over and over again. :)

  9. No, have never published an ebook. I”m not going to kid myself, that people will be wanting to read my best-seller. :) Hard to know.

    • Hi Jean,
      I think you have some blog content that would be very well presented in an e-book. You have been developing some unexpected themes that would be very well presented as sepearate series in individual e-books for each series.

  10. I’ve never published an ebook, but I sure like reading them. Would also like to turn some of my blog into a book. Thanks for the link. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Hi Kathy,
      I don’t have an e-book reader so I’m interested to hear from my readers who do use them. Thanks for weighing in here. I think that you have blog content would be perfect for publication in an e-book.

      Thanks for thw eekend well wishes. This is a working weekend for me but I’m still enjoying it. I hope you and Sara have a great weekend too.

      Hugs,
      TiTi

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