E-books are the present and the future. Paper books may be still in demand today, but that is about to change with heavyweight authors taking their work digital. We can now count Seth Godin among those who won’t be spending all their efforts to publish their books the good old way. He recently announced that “Linchpin” will be the last book he publishes the traditional way. Seth Godin is a very smart man. We he says things people listen. Besides, there is a very good reason he is moving on:
Traditional book publishers use techniques perfected a hundred years ago to help authors reach unknown readers, using a stable technology (books) and an antique and expensive distribution system. The thing is–now I know who my readers are. Adding layers or faux scarcity doesn’t help me or you. As the medium changes, publishers are on the defensive…. I honestly can’t think of a single traditional book publisher who has led the development of a successful marketplace/marketing innovation in the last decade.
The traditional way of doing things is not the best way to move forward. Not in the age of social media, and certainly not when everybody seems to be connected to everyone else in the world.
My audience does things like buy five or ten copies at a time and distribute them to friends and co-workers. They (you) forward blog posts and PDFs. They join online discussion forums. None of these things are supported by the core of the current corporate publishing model,
he continues. The new publishing model has not only made life easier for authors, it has given more small publishing businesses the chance to shine. Large publishers and big-time authors can continue to fight it or join the revolution.
There was a time when we all had to come up with excuses why people needed to give e-books another look. Yes. They are good for the environment. They can save you money in the long-run too. In those days, people were not ready to see what was in front of them. The good news is people don’t need an excuse to pick up a Kindle or iPad these days. E-books are not perfect, but they are here to stay. Better get used to them.
Are you ready to give up on paper books?