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The way in which we read is changing, as is the way we consume most media. The introduction of Ebook readers and tablets has of course changed the book market. But is it for the better or for the worse? There are of course arguments for both sides, but either way the world and market is becoming more digital. To embrace it is to thrive.
There is of course some negative impact on the sales of printed books with the introduction of new technology. Fewer people are buying print copies, and even with soaring sales of Ebooks there are differences in the way people buy, and the way the book industry makes a profit. For example hardback copies are in decline, meaning a decline in the higher profit margin publishers receive. Though of course there will always be consumers who resist the new technology in favour of the emotive experience of a printed copy. Over time Ebook readers are becoming more authentic though and increasing numbers of traditionalists are embracing the digital future of books.
People also consume books in a different way, whilst multibuys were highly valued by consumers in sales of printed books, the same techniques would not be so profitable when it comes to digital.
The reason for the difference in buyer behavior is that books are now more convenient. It’s far easier to purchase that new title, and it takes just moments whereas previously consumers liked to stockpile either whilst buying online (fewer deliveries and lower cost) or in the shop.
This also means that if a particular author, or book crosses a consumers mind they can buy it there and then. This drastically reduces basket abandonment and will obviously lead to higher sales overall. Impulse buying is a real advantage of our new instant book culture. As we all know, consumers want their purchases delivered yesterday.
The costs of producing digital versions is also far lower, eliminating print costs, packaging and postage means that profit margins are higher. Despite the slightly lower cost to the customer.
Ebook readers and tablets have brought reading back up to date, and in line with the digital age. A development that long term will see the continuation of reading as a popular pastime, as opposed to it being left behind.
The future of books
Leaps in technology now also mean that children are becoming more and more familiar with the Ebook format, especially with the growing popularity of the Amazon Kindle Fire and other color Ebook readers. For the first time children can enjoy picture books in all their glory on a digital device. This will encourage a younger generation to read, and enjoy reading whilst keeping up to date with the latest technology.
Of course there’s the risk of consumers being distracted from their book by all the other apps that are available on these multifunctional devices, but in time publishers will adapt and find new ways to keep customer “in” their app rather than distracted by others.