Filter     |   View Watchlist
[ Print Friendly ] [ Watch Thread ]

Are E-Books Killing Off Print?I like books. I love th esmell of a freshly printed book. I love turning those firm smooth pages. i also love the sense of atmosphere with an old book. crinkled pages yes but cool.
So E-Books: valuable form of media or do we want print.
#1  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
23 REPLIES Watch  |  Sort by Likes · Date
Radius55 Site Admin
In reply to nanosuit, #1:

I know a guy who used to work in the print industry. He said that 15 years ago, companies already knew books were going the way of the dinosaur.

So, yes, eBooks and the internet are killing off print. They will never destroy it completely, but beyond some specialty stores, you're not going to see it much in the next 20 years or so.
#2  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Theres no denying its the way the market is slowly turning to. When I saw this thread though, my first thought was remembering Amanda Hocking;

Amanda is in her late twenties, never had a single physical published book but has been in quite a few bestseller charts for her e-books, as she self publishes through the various e-book stores, heres an impressive quote from wiki:
In April 2010, she began self-publishing them as e-books.[1] By March 2011, she had sold over a million copies of nine books and earned two million dollars from sales, something previously unheard of for self-published authors.[4] In early 2011, Hocking averaged 9,000 book sales each day.

I think the rise of ebooks will be scaring publishers but the smart ones will get in on the ebook sales now. With a bit of luck we'll see the prices fall a bit as well as right now some sites seem to be charing nearly as much as the original book.


I love books. Given the choice between reading a book in paper form or reading it on a kindle for example, I'd go for the paper form everytime. Thing is though, Kindles are just too damn handy simply because I can carry more books than I could possibly ever need in one sitting as well as various manuals, documentation and study books on small device.
#3  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Cool
Radius55 Site Admin
In reply to Fasckira, #3:

I read about 50,000 words a day (rough estimate) and you've got to admit eBooks are much more convenient. They're cheaper, there's more variety, and I can carry hundreds at a time on my Kindle. Yeah, there's something nice about a hardbound first edition of a good book, but you can't carry that with you very easily.
#4  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Ditto
If I'm correct, Borders had gone out of business, possibly because of e-books.

I do enjoy real books instead of e-books. It's a form of entertainment that can't deform your eyes, like the people who put E-books to the top brightness.

I hope the world doesn't turn into the world in 'Farenheit 451'.
#5  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Keeping an outdated format around because you like the smell of it seems pretty ridiculous to me. They'll still be printing books for a while, just like they've been printing CDs long after anyone cares.

In reply to Tehjew1, #5:
I hope the world doesn't turn into the world in 'Farenheit 451'.

In what was does books going digital related to Fahrenheit 451 at all?
#6  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 2 Ditto
In reply to blank, #6:

In reply to Tehjew1, #5:

In what was does books going digital related to Fahrenheit 451 at all?
Unless my memory is failing me, Farenheit was mainly about books being illegal, no? I was just imagining that eventually, books will become a myth.
#7  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to Tehjew1, #7:

In the sense of bound pages, maybe. That doesn't mean anyone is outlawing any works. That's like saying writing doesn't exist because no one is making typewriters anymore. People are still writing, and old books are still being "published" digitally. Hell, I can still borrow books digitally from the library on my ereader.
#8  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
E-books will be the way of the future. Will it happen overnight? No? I predict in the next 15-20 years is when the E-books will be a majority thing. However, books themselves won't disappear either.
#9  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Unfortunately if the whole world migrates to e-books, i don't think that the Vatican archives would be happy to divulge manuscripts for a digital format!
#10  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to nanosuit, #10:

Replace the whole Vatican library with a single Kindle on an altar in the middle of the room. Amazon would go wild for that kind of marketing
#11  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote  |  + 1 Zing!
In reply to Tehjew1, #5:
If I'm correct, Borders had gone out of business, possibly because of e-books.
No way. That was due to Amazon more than anything. Well, maybe some mismanagement as well. They had been selling through Amazon online till 2008 when they decided to go it alone. Their new website launched just in time for the financial collapse.

In any case, they hadn't actually turned a profit since 2006. Ebooks were around then but far from in general use. It was more geeks reading pirated plaintext ocr rips (or Project Gutenberg documents for those who felt like being whitehat) on palmtops. Mine was a Palm Treo.

In reply to blank, #6:
Keeping an outdated format around because you like the smell of it seems pretty ridiculous to me. They'll still be printing books for a while, just like they've been printing CDs long after anyone cares.
Lots of people still care about CDs. If I like a band I'd rather buy the CD than pay for a download. It's something physical. You can get it signed or lend it to a friend.

The same goes for books only double. Having a personal library (even just of a dozen books) is part of being a culture of readers. You share new books with people to introduce them to new authors and stories. You don't tell them to buy the new big thing, you hand them a lump of dead tree and tell them to let you know what they thought of it later. You buy limited editions and signed editions (or try to find one of the twenty first edition hardbacks that Terry Pratchett hasn't signed yet).

I've been reading ebooks in one form or another for well over six years now but still buy paper books whenever I can, especially of authors I am a fan of.

And I know that I'm far from alone in this. Plenty of people I know read ebooks while still buying paper texts by the dozen. And plenty more have paper books that are more than just a collection of words to them. Hell, in one case I lent a book and got bought a replacement rather than given it back. Not because it was lost or damaged but because, having made it through they didn't want to give it up.
#12  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
MichaelSim91 SMRIF
My dad was a printer and lost his job about 15 years ago because of downsizing so books have been going downhill for a while but I don't they will ever go away completely. My dad just recently got a kindle and he loves it lol.
#13  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
MichaelSim91 SMRIF
Also i agree with pal_sch, I much prefer owning a game with the box, disc and manual than downloading it straight to my console you get a good sense of ownership.
#14  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
hydra38811 Sponsor
The last physical book I bought was Under the Dome by Stephen King. I got it from a local used book store hard cover for twenty bucks.

Since I got a kindle for Christmas I've started reading a lot more. I've finished six books since then. I'm sure that physical media is starting to dwindle down in this digital age, but I believe it is more important that good books keep getting written and that people keep reading.
#15  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I think that physical books are unlikely to disappear anytime in the near future. E-books have their advantages, sure. I know lots of fellow students who download their required texts on a kindle, ipad, or nook. It does make compiling books simpler, it makes carrying more books at the same time simpler, and can make purchasing books cheaper.

This all comes with a cost, though. That cost primarily comes in the form of the destruction of communities. Physical books have allowed people to come together in a certain place to buy (bookstores) or to rent (libraries) books. You can meet people in the pursuit of a hardcover book. E-books lack the human element. Yes, e-books can recommend new books based on previous purchases or likes, but no website will really ever be able to understand a person the way a friend, family-member, or colleague can.

I suspect that both will be able to survive simultaneously, ebooks fulfilling a more necessary function (textbooks, other reads that are necessary), while physical books will maintain a corner on pleasure reading. Of course there will be a gray area - some people will only want to read books (I am like that, because I find that reading text on a bright screen for too long can bother my eyes), and some other people will only want to read on the e-readers (because they like the ease, or reading on a screen or something).
#16  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Yeah I agree that ebooks are killing books but I dont see it as a bad thing just an evolution <3 my kindle.
#17  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Ikagawa Sponsor
A friend of mine works at Barnes & Noble. He was so excited when they started carrying the Nook. At least he was until I pointed out that pushing the Nook for sale to people means that he's going to decrease sales for his store as more people pick up that product. They'll start relying on digital publications so his store will lose their foot traffic. B&N and other stores are signing their own physical location's deaths with the push to digital.

The companies will still be alive, but they won't be brick and mortar after a while. Which makes me sad, since I love books. I can't stand reading a story on a screen.
#18  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I bought a Nook so that I could stop carrying all the books I wanted to read in my backpack ( to ease the weight off my back). Don't get me wrong, I still love the feel of the pages between my fingers, but it's getting to the point where people (like me) want so much without the weight. And ebook readers (Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.) promise just that. Right now textbooks are starting to make that transition and I assume books like encyclopedias will too. So to answer the question, ebooks are killing printed books, but they are doing so gradually.
#19  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Ember FoxGirl
As a reader, I prefer physical books. I like to hold them, and to see them on my shelf. I love the covers. The turning of the page. I do think e-books are becoming more prevalent these days. But they are not eliminating physical books entirely. Amazon still has a "print-to-order" option, which is actually more ecologically efficient.

As an aspiring writer, e-books, and self publishing through e-book providers for that matter, is a godsend. One problem that many a successful writer would have, is that they could spend years waiting for their book to be published, and years longer for their scant royalties to provide even a minimum wage. They might wait until their third book was almost out before receiving royalties.

Keep in mind that, for most, the first few thousand in royalties would never make it to the author. Because it was considered "already paid" when the publisher bought rights to the book. And said publisher would have total control over the schedule. An author can go totally bankrupt that way.

Self publishing with e-books gives an author full rights to their own book, and larger royalties (about 70%). True, they don't get the lump sum that a publisher will pay for book rights, but it pays off in the long run.

And people can still order a physical copy, if they so wish.
#20  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
In reply to Agent_Me, #20:

I don't know any published authors who even hope to live on royalties. The advance is the pay for the book. Royalties are a nice bonus in a few years time if you make it big. Expecting to make money from royalties is an extremely risky strategy, no matter how good the apparent royalty is. The whole point of publishers is that they adopt the risks involved with a book being profitable while the author gains a guaranteed income. Well, there are also the significant advantages of access to a large support system for authors, but the risk thing is primary.

The authors who are most successful in financial matters are the ones who are smart about managing their rights sales, or who have agents who are smart about it. Being able to resell the same book to other markets is usually more valuable than securing a higher royalty percentage.

Right now depending on ebook sales is also going to leave you very dependent on an evolving and volatile market. While I don't see ebooks shrinking as a market I also can't imagine the current sale model remaining the same for much more than the next year. There is the DOJ challenge against the agency model, publishers moving away from DRM (likely the first step towards establishing new sales channels for ebooks targetted at multiple readers rather than closed garden economies like the Kindle and iBook markets) and the grotesque state of the current self published market. Right now I wouldn't dream of browsing to discover new books through any market that accepted self published works.

I'm also worried for self published authors who are dependent on their IP rights being enforced. Published authors are a) already paid, so aren't as strongly impacted by IP violations, and b) have access to the legal departments of their publishers when someone decides to copy their book and publish it themselves, or start bundling your ebook into their new reader device as a promotion without permission. And that's assuming that regular piracy can be ignored or seen as a positive, otherwise you could spend your entire life trying to chase down file sharing sites attempting to stop it.
#21  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Ember FoxGirl
In reply to pal_sch, #21:

I personally know published authors who have said their publishing house does NOT do anything to prevent, or protect authors from, piracy. Most agents do not work for the author, they work for the publisher. When an author and publisher have legal difficulties, the agent almost always does nothing.

Big name authors have to do everything themselves, these days. All they get are their books in Barnes & Nobel, or similar stores. But many people just buy their books online. (both digital and print.)

I hear more and more complaints from successful authors about publishing houses. Many an author's rights are infringed upon by the publishing houses that are supposed to be helping them.

If I have to keep such a close eye on my book, do all the advertising, and deal with legal headaches by myself... then I'm not interested in working through a publisher. All I'd get out of it is the advance, and a place in large stores. I know a woman who has books through publishing houses, and some that are not.

She says the only difference she's noticed in the long run is that she has less stress while self-publishing.

If you're interested in seeing a large data source on this topic, I would suggest The Passive Voice. You might already know about it, or you might not. I think it's worth linking here for any who haven't heard of it.

Post edited 5/10/12 2:50PM
#22  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
I have a kindle which I use all the time, but I tend to buy poetry, non-fiction or reference books in hard copies because it's likely that I might want to go straight to a specific page, as well as books that I really love which I want to keep on my bookshelf, and probably lend to friends.
One thing that the kindle has done for me that gives some points in its favour is introduced me to a lot of books that I otherwise wouldn't have read. I have 86 items on my kindle, and I'd say about 70 of those were purchased for free, most of those would probably be worth about $7 each had I bought them from a book shop, provided I didn't have to pay postage to order them in.
I honestly don't believe a device which makes reading more accesible could be considered a negative.
#23  Posted 3 years ago  |  Reply  |  Quote
Please sign in or sign up to post a comment.