eBooks… what me worry?

I’ve heard recently claims a million Kindle’s are sold each week. Interesting, even if this figure proves to be double the reality that’s still a lot of units. How many iPads are under Christmas trees this year? I have a friend who has one and I recently used it for a few hours. I’m a bit of a geek as I work in IT and I must admit I found the device very appealing. In 5 years time I doubt there will be an Australian family home without a quality e-reader of some kind. Beyond the smart phones, something with at least a 7 inch screen and a very good resolution.

From the point of view of an author, digital rights will become everything in terms of book value. Many people see the cheap eBooks in the 99c to $5 range as the end of affluent writers. I don’t and here’s why. The distribution model will / is changing for the better. Book stores are not available 24 x 7. A reader has to go to their local store to purchase a hardcopy. The store has to have the hardcopy and often the price, especially in Australia, can be a bit of a turn off. Think of young adults, teenagers and their relatively limited disposable income. There’s fashion, movies, computer games, latest tech (phone, iPods’ etc). Little left for $20 plus books.

Each generation is becoming increasingly computer savvy. Social media has broadened the scope of their world, removing distance as a barrier to friendships. Word of mouth about a great book has always been a powerful marketing tool and now it’s easier than ever. What parent is going to limit their kids iTunes and Amazon book buying? Not many especially if these shops offer young adult book clubs and the parents can be confident their kids are reading appropriate material.

Coming back to the author’s point of view, book rankings will ensure the most popular authors receive the most sales. 50 cents across a million copies at 99c is still a lot of money! How cool to know a million people have read your book? Where’s the problem with that?

People who read do better in life, period. Grammar and a command of our language is crucial to securing employment. Besides which the brain is like any other muscle, it needs a good flex from time to time.

I say make it easier, as easy as possible to get kids reading more. Establish the habit and we’ll have a better world for it. Embrace eBooks and go with the tide for it’s a surge full of convenient choice for the consumer like never before. I for one plan to enjoy the ride!

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