As a devout ebook reader I find that many of the titles I want to read simply isn’t available as ebooks. There are more than enough ebooks around that it haven’t become a problem yet, but it will happen. In the earlier days I read a lot of the books of Wilbur Smith and Jan Guillou, and I want to read them again. I also discovers books I want to read by Norwegian authors (Eirik Newth, ?sne Seierstad and Helene Uri) but Norwegian publishers is even farther behind on ebooks than the US and Europe.
So the question is, what should we do to make publishers realize there’s a whole big market out there for ebooks that they need to tap into. It’s a market that will grow and they only start feeling the consequence of it when they suddenly realize the books are available as pirated downloads.
My take on it is that I write letters to the publisher of a specific book I want. I will also copy that mail to the author if the author have an official email address available. It goes something like this:
I wish to purchase “book” by “author” as an ebook, can you tell me when you expect to publish it in “EPUB” format?
I prefer ebooks for the following reasons:
– Takes no space in my limited bookshelves
– It costs less than the physical books.
– I can easily take my whole library with me everywhere I go
– Saves the environment (saves trees, pollution because of shipping etc.)
– I don’t have to locate the book in bookstores, or wait days before it pops up in my mailbox. The second I bought the book, I can start reading it.
– I can quickly search for words, names or passages and with purchased dictionaries I can get a description for an unknown word.
– Font resizing which is a great aide for people with reading disabilities.
The benefits of ebooks for the publishing industry
One can’t stop the future from happening
The release of Kindle by Amazon was a big step towards ebooks. By not preparing for ebooks, publishers will fall behind.
Loss of income
By not preparing for ebooks (and the digital age), publishers will fall behind. If ebook readers wants to read a book, they don’t necessarily by the paperback version if the ebook version isn’t available.
Loosing ground for competitors
Consumers will turn to competitors that do provide the products they’re interested in.
When people don’t find what they search for in any legal means, many will instead turn to pirated copies of low quality which again result in loss of income.
Ebooks is cheaper to produce
An ebook only needs to be created once for a specific format. The benefit for publishers of ebooks is the reduced costs involved in producing and distributing them.
Ebooks reach a bigger market
Ebooks is great for people with reading disabilities, and will therefore be a part of increasing sales.
Ebooks are also easier to distribute all over the world. Everybody with an internet connection can buy an ebook.
Decreased production costs can result in cheaper ebooks
By providing ebooks for a lower price than on paperbacks (considering the reduced production costs), it will encourage the consumers to buy more books. Ebooks priced lower than the price of paperbacks will mean more sales for publishers and happy ebook consumers ready to buy more, so everybody wins.
Publishers can entice consumers in various ways by providing book excerpts, audio excerpts, comments and discussion with the authors and book reviews to mention a few.
Creating loyal consumers
The marketing possibilities can create more loyal consumers that will come back for more and keep track of news that a publisher provides. Thereby creating a closer dialog between publisher and consumer.
Information about the EPUB format
EPUB is an ebook industry standard bythe International Digital Publishing Forum (http://www.idpf.org/). EPUB allows publishers to produce and send a single digital publication file through distribution and offers consumers interoperability between software/hardware for unencrypted reflowable digital books and other publications.
EPUB allows complete control over the layout and graphic presentation of the ebook, can support functional table of contents and notes. The EPUB format can be created using various tools, and be easily integrated into the publishing workflow.
I would like to encourage other people to do the same. If enough such letters pops up in their mailbox, then they will catch the drift after a while. Do you have any suggestions to make that letter better.