Print vs e-book
Photo courtesy of Wired.

Amazon just recently put out some numbers that shows e-books are putting up a good fight with the old fashioned print book, and may be going for the knockout? This past month alone Amazon sold 180 e-books for every 100 hardcover books. What was the tipping point?… the price structure. Since bringing the price point down to $189 sales have shot through the roof. As the iPad lowers their price, the Kindle will have to continue to lower there’s to remain competitive. For just a basic e-reader, setting the price right under the $100 mark will be smooth sailing – but that’s for another time.

How is this going to affect publishing?

Here’s the thing, I don’t see e-books affecting the publishing companies as much as most people think. Yes, of course, there will be whiteboard sessions in finding ways to strategically reposition themselves, but this happens all of the time anyways. This new form of absorbing ‘book’ content is relatively new for the average reader. People are excited about it and are racing to the checkout lines to get a hold of the latest and greatest.  I want to assume that those who purchase e-book’s don’t necessarily stop purchasing the printed book. Which brings me to my next point…

There’s enough room for both the digital and print platforms.

The e-reader is excellent for the busy body traveler who already has too many gadgets to carry – so they’ll slim there reading material down to just digital, catching up on all of there publications by a click of a button.

Then you have those who find extreme pleasure in the emotions that come along with the printed edition. The feel, the smell, the colors, absorbing the beautifully designed cover, brushing your fingers across the page all nestled up on the couch in front of a fire. Harnessing the book’s they grew up with or their children grew up with. The experiences, memories, and emotions that connect with the print book is just simply irreplaceable.

What about the music industry from CD’s to mp3 files, that didn’t turn out so hot?

What about it?… The book publishing channel does not fall into that category, it’s created their own identity. The CD is completely different in the sense to fully enjoy the content within that platform you had to put the CD into a CD player, so you weren’t actually holding it, or smelling it, or touching it while absorbing the content. With the print book, from cover to cover, you are emotionally and physically absorbing that content, the book itself, along with the content, is always present.The emotion that’s connecting with the print book isn’t comparable to that of a CD.

Mashable did a poll this week that backs up my thinking fairly well. They’ve found, through their readers, that the printed book was in favor over the e-book by roughly 19%. What does this mean considering the DNA that makes up Mashable’s core audience (social media, tech savvy, geeky gadget lovers: fore the mos part). There’s something of value here and it may fall within the lines of the level of difficulty to replace that physical connected emotion that comes with reading a print book.

Not to mention, how do you go to book signings with an e-reader?

So, is there room for both an e-reader and the hardcover on your bookshelf? And if you purchase an e-reader, will that keep you from purchasing other print books?

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