-Can it gain true power?
With the years ticking by and technology sinking its teeth deeper into society with each passing year, the temptation to jump ship and become a digital consumer is more overwhelming than ever.
The rise to prominence of devices such as the Apple iPad, iPhone and Amazon Kindle as well as every Mac automatically being linked up to the Apple ibooks store, makes it hard for us not to want to be involved with digital media consumption. I would be very interested to see the percentage of people in countries like: USA, U.K & Europe, China, Australia etc. that don’t own at least one of these devices individually or as a household.
The thing is it’s not just books; it’s magazines, graphic novels and every other type of print media you can think of. If you can hold it, you can most likely download it.
Strictly speaking for aspiring novelists, the ‘E-Book’ marks the dawn of a new age of self-publishing that was never before possible. Before, to successfully self-publish your novel you had to:
- Deal with printing costs and most importantly quantity and schedules.
- Convince bookstores to stock your book. (A lot harder than it seems without tremendous buzz).
- Have a very detailed and strenuous marketing campaign.
Ok, yes you still have to effectively market your book and generate great buzz in order to sell copies by download. However it is significantly easier to concentrate on promotion when you don’t have to worry about stocking bookstores correctly, keeping track of sales and accounting for tax purposes. In addition to all that you have to deal with print manufacturers on a regular basis and provide all the funding. Another positive of digitised books, is that there are never any wasted copies of your book and you can implement changes to it at will.
With the domination of social networks on the internet nowadays you can target a gigantic network of consumers, and with one simple link direct them to the site where they can download your book instantly.
The market for the digital consumption of print media is growing every year. Look at these statistics:
In only a few years since 2010 this is exponential growth of both device and content sales. Soon we will be looking at digital sales dominating a much larger portion of the book market than its current 25%. Yet at 25%, sales have still more than doubled over the last two years alone.
I appreciate that many people still love the feeling of sitting by the fire on a bitterly cold winter’s night and reading a good old fashioned paperback. However, it’s not too hard to imagine that it’s a tablet there holding rather than a paperback. People fear change because they believe something will be lost in transition, like tradition etc. I say just roll with the times.
With mobile apps like ‘Peekster‘ now available also, it’s hard to deny digital print media’s increasing oppurtunity for its time in the spotlight. Yet I don’t see the death of print either. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, I think the actually go hand in hand nicely.
In terms of self-publishing, with the likes of ‘Smashwords‘ providing such an easy and pain free platform for distribution resisting the urge to go it alone is harder than ever.
Of course I would love to be published by a publishing house and my book to make it big, who wouldn’t? However, I have to say that many people (often cynics), label self publishing as reflecting the fear of rejection. I could disagree with this enough. Self publishing is a risky route, but it is a route aspiring authors take because it is they who believe in their work; they believe they can reach people with their book. It won’t reach people if it never gets read, buried in piles of neglected manuscripts!
This technological push can only be a good thing though for aspiring writers, like myself, who’s platform for exposure has been expanded in astonishing volumes over recent years. Let’s take the opportunity with both hands!