Are You an Environmentally Conscious Author?

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” ~Psalm 24:1-2

The earth belongs to God, but he gave us the responsibility of caring for it.

Earth Day 2020

Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” ~Genesis 1:28

Next week, Wednesday, April 22, is Earth Day. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

One year on Earth Day, I helped plant 200 trees. It felt good. One thing I like about paper is that it is a renewable resource. I believe that authors and publishers, in particular, should be invested in ensuring that we are renewing this wonderful resource.

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would share some paper recycling facts. As publishers and authors, we use lots of paper. Our books are printed on paper. Our catalogs, business cards, and bookmarks are made of paper.

So, together, let’s do our part to preserve our environment by reusing, reducing, and recycling.

Paper Recycling Facts

  • The average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
  • Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
  • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
  • The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  •  The construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.
  • If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags! Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States!

Let’s all do our part and renew a commitment to reuse, reduce, and recycle for Earth Day 2020.

Related Posts:
The Growing Demand for Paper
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Notable Data on Book Sales

The Nielson company studies consumers in more than 100 countries to provide the most complete view of buying trends and habits worldwide. Through their BookScan program, Nielson tracks book sales for the book industry. This program captures the data from around 80 percent of all book sales in the United States.

Each year Nielson releases reports about the data they collect. These reports give authors and publishers valuable information on what is happening in the book industry, especially in terms of book sales. Nielson’s 2015 report has some interesting information.

Nielson’s 2015 data shows that the self-publishing movement continues to grow. It is taking market share away from big publishers, especially in the ebook arena. Over the past four years, the big publishers market share for sales of ebooks fell from 46% to 34%, while self-published and small press ebook sales market share grew from 19% to 42% (see chart below).

Nielsen-1-market-shareWhat I found the most fascinating in this report is how people discovered books in 2015. There is a big difference in how consumers discover print books versus ebooks.

Nielson found that in-store browsing was still the number one way that people discover new print books to read. The second was through in-person recommendations from friends and relatives. However, this did not hold true for ebooks. The top way consumers discover ebooks to read is through browsing online sites. Family and friends recommendation still held high sway for ebooks, but not as high as for print books. Most notable was that the third and fourth most common ways for readers to discover ebooks was through reading a free sample online and through online recommendations based on what they have previously purchased or read (see chart below).

Nielsen-3-discovery-US-a-710x569I believe this data gives you some good information for marketing your books. eBooks are digital, therefore, people discover them in the digital realm (the Internet). So, concentrating your marketing efforts in the digital realm makes sense for ebooks. Print books, on the other hand, are physical. Readers predominately discover these books in the physical realm. Therefore, if you are selling print books, you can’t just concentrate your marketing in the digital realm. You must also market in the physical realm with print materials and physical displays of your book to attract buyers.

I am grateful that Nielson shares its data so that we, as authors and publishers, can stay abreast of how best to promote our books.

Related Posts:
What You Need to Know About Selling eBooks
Sales Data Worth Mining
Staying Relevant

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