I recently received an email from Advocace Media that said, “What do the iPod, Kraft Miracle Whip, and the La-Z-Boy reclining chair all have in common?” The answer: They were all launched during a recession time. I believe this current recession will have a huge impact on the sale of ebooks.
Up until now, ebooks have accounted for less than one percent of all books sold. Not a lot in the scope of things. Ebooks have been around for quite a few years, yet they never seem to have taken off in popularity the way industry gurus have consistently predicted they will. However, I believe that three things are colliding together in our society that will spur the sales of ebooks in a new way.
1. The rapid growth of technology. The creation of the Kindle and the large marketing push Amazon is putting behind it, as well as the new smart phone technology (touch screen cell phones like the iPhone and the new Blackberry) will drive more ebook sales due to the convenience and ease of purchasing and downloading these books into a conveniently portable, reading format.
2. The economy. Our current recession, which economists are predicting to be drawn-out over an ever-expanding period of time, has impacted people’s spending. Couple this with the government’s expanding spending policies and we may well see a new era where personal spending money is greatly diminished. With less money to spend, people will look for ways to conserve money while still enjoying their leisure pursuits. Ergo, ebooks will become more attractive due to their bargain price when compared to print books.
3. Green initiative and the growing interest in protecting the environment. The warnings about global warming over the past decade are making Americans more conscientious of our impact on our environment and the resulting repercussions. Warnings of impending fuel crises and rapidly fluctuating fuel prices are causing us to reconsider our publishing practices, as can be seen in the rise of pod printing for books, resulting in less waste. The slogan, “Read an ebook, save a tree,” has already taken root. As people become increasingly environmentally conscious and have less money to spend, reading digitally will be pushed to new limits.
I believe these three things will result in more ebooks being sold in the coming years. In future years, we may look back and add ebooks to the list of products launched or made popular during a recession period.
Read an E-Book Week was first registered with Chase’s Calendar of Events in 2004. This is the first year I have been made aware of this event. I am not new to publishing or the publishing world. My job is to stay informed about the changes and events occurring in this realm, yet, until this year, Read an E-Book Week has not appeared on my radar.
The industry is beginning to see the era of ebooks and with this vision, ebooks and events supporting ebooks are becoming more visible. The purpose of Read an E-Book Week is to officially recognize ebook authors and publishers and give them a certain extra “legitimacy” to promote the new technology of ebooks during this week.
Ebook week is March 8-14. More information can be found on the organizer’s website at www.ebookweek.com. If you are an author or publisher of ebooks, take advantage of this week to promote your ebooks. The website provides ideas for promotion during this week and they provide free downloadable banners like the one displayed here for your use. The neat thing about Read an E-Book Week is that it dovetails with Small Press Month (www.smallpressmonth.org), so if you are a small publisher, you can combine the two for powerful promotion.
What are your plans for promoting your ebooks?