Hi all. In addition to Tinker’s Plague I have two e-books published.
Slaves of Love: A futuristic detective story of love and madness.
The Hollow Curse: A centuries spanning tale of love and obsession.
With Club Lighthouse Publishing: www.clublighthousepublishing.com
So I know a bit first hand about this topic. Tinker’s Plague is also available in e-book format.
I definitely think that e-books are the wave of the future, but I also think that future will be about fifteen years coming.
At present the readers are too expensive. When you look at the price of most e-books verses mass-market paperbacks you’re looking at about six dollars for the e-book verses ten for the paperback. To the consumer that is a four-dollar savings. If the book reader costs a hundred dollars that means the break-even point is twenty-five books. (Generally the readers cost more than a hundred dollars, but I’m keeping the math simple)
The above is assuming that the consumer is only reading new books, if you mix in used books that can sell for as little as twenty-five cents the breakeven point can be pushed into infinity.
The truth that this math illustrates is that economically the readers are going to have to drop in price to around the forty-dollar mark before the system becomes truly cost effective. At forty dollars it’s ten new book purchases to break even verses print. For a lot of folk that is about a year’s pleasure reading.
The readers also have to come up in quality. The screens of phones are too small to give a pleasant reading experience. Many people find back-lit screens unpleasant and on some of the readers the control interface for selecting books and turning pages is too complex.
I think we see the beginnings of the way things will go with the I-pad. A multi-function platform large enough to mimic a print book’s page.
Now e-books do have some advantages such as space considerations. If you’re a reader you are probably short on shelf space and have to think hard to remember the colours of the walls because they’ve been covered by shelves for so long. E-books don’t have that problem since a thousand book library can fit in your carry on for the plane.
Travelers are also a big advantage for e-books. All you need is a laptop or equivalent and you’re all set. Assuming back lighting doesn’t bother you.
The environmental advantages of less paper use are obvious.
A final note about how I think things will go. It is my personal belief that e-books will wipe out the mass-market paperback over the next fifteen years or so. Trade paperbacks, probably in large print, will hold on for quite a while. The reason for this is many of us have an emotional connection to a print book. This connection will not exist for e-books until we have a generation come up who remember being read bedtime stories by the glow of an e-reader’s screen. I feel the large print will come about because of an aging population that will welcome the opportunity to set their glasses aside. (my generation is showing.) Hard cover books I see surviving as collector’s editions of a few extraordinary works. Very limited print runs and highly valued.
That’s just my opinion though anybody want to chime in?
Causes Stephen Pearl Supports
World Wildlife Fund, SPCA, Farley foundation, CNIB,