Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is the book dead?

I read an interesting post today on Michael Hyatt's blog. He had previously discussed the changing technology in the book industry. Here is the link to the blog.


What I found so interesting is the emotional attachment some people have to books. I suppose since I'm a visual learner that it would be assumed that I prefer reading books. But I don't. I love to be carried away by books on tape [or CD].

Maybe it hearkens back to when I was little and my dad would read to me from a picture Bible before bed.

Maybe it's because my life is so jammed that I have to multitask constantly.

Whatever the reason, I love the idea of books in various formats to reach a wider swath of readers.

I think as authors we should consider how various formats would affect our book marketing. Should we consider audio formats? According to Chip MacGregor on a recent blog, most publishing houses lose money on audio books and thus don't offer them to writers.

I wonder if it is the chicken or the egg. Do they lose money because audio books aren't profitable OR [as I believe] are audio books unprofitable because they aren't being effectively marketed.

I mean, we have music coming out of our PHONES for crying out loud. Is it that far fetched that somone would download a book on their ipod? If I could download books cheaper on an ipod I'd do it.

So, how should we, as authors, market our books? Should we work to build an audio platform or should we focus on what we know works?

That's the question I pose to you.


Wayne said...

There is nothing wrong with sticking with Grandma's recipe, or Dad's favorite saying: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Still, electronic format books are here. Let's hope that the world of competition does not allow Amazon to dominate the market and steal from the reader, the way they plan with their new toy.

The Koala Bear Writer said...

I find it interesting to consider that computers and the Internet were supposed to bring us a paperless society, yet that hasn't happened yet. I was recently at a seminar on writing for the web, where the presenter talked about how many people will go to a website, print off all the information, and then read it on paper. We still like having paper in our hands and reading things that way. For starters, until computer screen technology improves, it's easier that way. And while I've also enjoy hearing a book (both my parents read to me growing up, and my husband now reads while we're driving in the car), I also like seeing the words on a page. They stick in my head better that way, somehow. So I think books will be around for a good long time yet.

Wayne said...

. . . and when I'm done reading it, I love that I will pass it by every day, there on the oak bookshelf.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany said...

Interesting. Thanks for sharing Wayne and Koala bear.

Did either of you go over to Michael Hyatt's site to look at his take from a publisher's perspective?

Just curious.

Wayne said...

I did. I understand his view too. But I'm convinced that it's a generation gap or three required to relinquish the hold that the paperback has on me.

Robin Johns Grant said...

It's interesting I'm reading this today. I just read an article this afternoon about the BOOM in audio books--how it's even big money for the readers. As a librarian, I see more and more interest in them. So I wonder why they aren't profitable for the publisher. I know I would buy or rent even more audio books than I do if they weren't so expensive. I personally think that's what discourages buyers.

Sheryl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheryl said...

I have several hundred year-old books that still work perfectly. What media are you proposing for this grand new experiment? None of the current ones outstrip paper for long-term storage, especially when accuracy is factored in.

Books are not dead, and it will be a long time before they come close.

Here is a Website which provides you everything from comedy to spine-tingling tales of horror and suspense. It is not at all difficult to find your favorite book and to download it. Get it at ”Audio Books”.