It seems to be the age of the eReader and the end of traditionally published books. With bookstores trickling away, the standard way to publish a book is starting to leave. A perfect example of this is the ever popular Lightning Source. Now with nearly two million titles hosted on their system utilizing the Lightning Sources Print on Demand model, it will only be a matter of
time before the only way book will be published is Print on Demand and
exploding model of Electronic Books.

Amazon Kindle is now available nationwide in Target stores, the B&N Nook is available in hundreds of B&N bookstores, and the iPad has sold four million. Kindle and Nook are also right in the middle of a price war. Kindle used to be the big boy on the block, however with Nook now only
149.00, the Nook is starting to become the big man on the block. To now compete
with the Kindles massive author list they use for eBooks, B&N has announced
Pubit. In essence it is exactly like the Amazon DTP program.

It has become the market not for big houses and big authors, but instead the market for small houses and unknown publishers. eBooks are priced so low most of the time that even if the book is bad, there really is no loss, on the other hand, the big houses which have to pay their big authors and their big buildings are priced at the lowest at 9.99 and most of the time higher. Small presses and authors can price the big boy’s right out.

Small presses and unknown authors also have a grasp on the online market, much more than the big houses. A good question to ask, on Twitter do you follow the big houses. Most of you will say no, simply because all they tweet is buy this, do that and they don’t have a grasp of what social
marketing really is. Smaller houses and unknown authors actually engage their
followers and make it a social experience.

So how can you beat out the bigger houses? The key is to network online and to get on Lightning Source for your print books. Lightning Source will enable you to get into bookstores like B&N and even if they won’t stock it, it is available for order. You can then market right in the store
with bookmarks and flyers that direct people to ask a bookseller to get the

Guerrilla market, the Nook displays at your B&N store, (if you book is on Nook) pull it up so it is on the home screen and then walk away. They next person who looks at the Nook will see your book. You can even leave a bookmark or two next to the Nook so people can go order the print
version or remember the book when they get their own Nook.

A Big house spends thousands of dollars to get their books in the front of a store, however most local stores are very willing as long as you supply them with displays or bookmarks free of charge to place these vital marketing items right at the checkout stand. (We’ve done it many times)

So let me ask you – Is the age of big houses coming to an end?

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I think it might be -- slowness and inefficiency are big no-nos in this day and age.

I've researched on indie vs. trad publishing [for my advertising plan / got full marks for the project :)] @
People like to be able to choose their format. In the near future I think there will be print on demand kiosks for paperbacks with download stations next to them. We will get to choose how we want books.
That is something I had not thought of; sort of like what Redbox did to video stores.
I think you might be right.


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I don't think that traditional bookstores will all go away, even if the only ones left are Barnes & Nobles! There are too many people that still just can't jump on the eReader bandwagon. I want one, but I still like my print books as well.
I don't think traditional press will be going away soon. There hasn't been a strong, lasting competitor in the eReader market just yet. There are still people complaining about the Kindle and Sony reader, and I don't think many people are willing to shell out the money for an iPad just to read books on it. I think we might demand too much of our gadgets these days. Our eReaders can't just be convenient ways to carry tons of books around with us. Now they must surf the web, play music, read to us, tell the time, and a whole host of other things. All this added functionality will eventually take away from to original purpose, leaving us with an electronic device designed to do one thing, forced to do many others, and doing none of them well.

We don't make these same demands of print books. We don't ask our print books to read to us or play music while we read. They are, I think, efficient at what they do. If the big stores go out of business, I'd like to think there would still be all the little stores and book shops, run by those devoted to the print media, who understand and are ok with single-purpose objects, and want to create a nice place for those of us still interested in this "outdated" mode. I think the whole eReader was a phase that a lot of people were going through. You don't hear about them much now. I'm more inclined to believe that books available to your computer will be more prominent than the eReaders. You choose the size of your screen, and can get a pretty decent one so you're not straining your eyes. And even before that, I think there's a lot of struggling with copyright that's going to happen. I remember a few years ago, an author decided they didn't want a certain edition of their book to be sold, so Amazon pulled it from everyone's eReader without saying anything, replacing it with something else.

Long story short, I think books are here to stay. For a while at least.
About 90% of books are sold from brick and mortar stores, less than 3% are ebooks. I think it is a little premature to say selling paperbakcs of a shelf is a thing of the past.
I agree! For a while now we have been hearing the sky is falling when it comes to print books but the numbers speak for themselves. The numbers tell a different story. Last time I checked the market for e-books was about 2%. If it is up to 3, this still way to small to start panicking over the loss of print books.

A long time ago it was thought that TV would replace movies but as we have seen they complement each other. I think this will be the same with print and e-books. We will now have a choice. Personally I will stick to print.
I don't know about other readers, but I almost never buy books without reading part of them first - which I can't do if the book isn't available in stores (I rarely read e-books). Also, if a book isn't readily available, that means it can't be an impulse purchase.

Whether a publisher is talking with readers on Twitter or Facebook doesn't matter as much to me as whether the story is interesting, the editing is good, the cover art is attractive and there are balanced, informative reviews. I can't be certain of this with authors who are self- or vanity-published, or with smaller presses that are not able to provide these, so I tend to stick with books put out by established publishers.

I also collect autographed books, so that's one more reason to favor print copies. :)

Long story short, bookstores and major publishers aren't going away just yet.
Marian, don't discount smaller publishers entirely! It's a great place for emerging writers to get published and established before trying to tackle the larger publishers which are way more selective, particularly as far as credentials go. There can be great writing there, and since many online publishers have their work, or snippets of work, online for free, there's not much lost if you don't like what you're reading. You can simply close the tab or stop reading. But there's good fiction out there in smaller presses.
By "smaller presses", I meant micropresses, especially the kind started up by people who have no experience in selecting or editing manuscripts, making it unlikely that they'll put out a quality, competitive end product. There are a ton of these, since digital printing technology has made it easy for anyone to put up a shingle and call themselves a publisher.

Reputable small presses such as Behler or Ellora's Cave are quite different. I'm published by Samhain, so I definitely don't discount established small presses with good reputations. :)
I would like to add that one of the reasons I read books is that I love the smell of the paper and ink as well as the feel of them. I know that there are many readers out there that may have more then one book going at a time and again that makes the paperback a convenient venue. I do believe that e-readers will continue to pace the reading market, but I also agree with Marian that reading the dustcover or even just a few papagraphs of books are part of the allure. The cover art, the reviews, and the discription of the book are often what helps the reader make a decision.
I do not see the end of the traditional book any time in the future.
While I don't think that print books will go away forever, they are on the slide down. Bookstores are closing everywhere and even major chains are cutting some losses. Why do you think B&N created Nook. They saw the writing on the wall. There is an article that Amazon for the first time in 2009 sold more eBooks than print books. That is really saying something since Amazon is the largest bookstore in the world. Nook has sold millions of devices and millions of books and iPad (while I think it is an over sized iPod Touch) has sold over a million eBooks in the iBookstore.

While it is going to take a little longer for eReaders to take true run away flight, it is going to happen. The price wars have just begun between the Nook, Kindle, and iPad and there is going to be more eReaders hitting the market too.

I was a paper only person until I finally got an eReader, now getting a print book is only a once in a while thing. They truly are awesome devices.


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