Years ago, when the concept of eBooks was out, it had incited a lot of excitement among the writers. Many publishers wanted to adapt the format. Millions of people had shown interest to buy such books. But when the actual eBooks came out in the market, the conversion rates dropped quickly and the early gained mileage could not be sustained.
Today, anyone who has written a book will know that the sale of printed copy is many folds higher than the sale of eBooks. Whether you are J K Rowling or a fresh writer, the story is the same. And the graph suggests that eBooks don’t gain a good sale.
Let’s hunt down the reasons and find out why eBooks don’t do so well.
To begin with, a lot of detailed discussion has been made by many experts regarding the cover of the book, the blurb and the Kindle tile. But we are not going to talk about that. We are considering the dependent factors and the core reasons which ultimately affect the nature of sales in the entire eBooks sector in the long term. We will focus on aspects that are directly related to the growth of the eBooks industry.
The Experience Differences
Many bookworms prefer to read a physical book over the experience of reading its softcopy. Even though Kindle has rekindled the eBooks market, 40% users have said that the experience while reading the e-way is quite different from an actual book.
The Quality Differences
Converting a printed book into an eBook is not a day’s task. The entire transition process is quite long and requires lot more efforts than merely giving out an e-document. An eBook requires fulfilling the publications guidelines too. A number of hyperlinks need to be added. A dictionary setting needs to be included. These days many publications have the requirement of having an outlay friendly to the deaf and the blind. Well, to be frank, not may eBooks meet with all the requirements. So, you may not find a link to check the word meaning in every eBook or easy page flip options or audio guide.
The Format Differences
An eBook that you carry on your Android phone, may not be supported by an IOS phone. The format may vary from desktop to phones and tablets. Many eBooks are exclusive to Kindle while the others that are available may not user-friendly when it comes to their installation or operating system. So when you buy an eBook for your tablet, it is not necessary that it would run on your phone and or function smoothly on your desktop. Single purpose devices are best to used for an eBook.
The Price Differences
This is the reason why 60% of free eBooks readers don’t buy a paid eBook. Since majority of the eBook population comprise of free eBook readers, paying a higher fee for an eBook doesn’t go down well with them. The entire process of conversion to an eBook replenishes a lot of resources, so the cost of the final product is obviously high. In most cases, it is higher than the physical book.
The Readers’ Population Differences
Though eBooks have a niche audience, the strength of this population isn’t quite considerable. Even today, the age group of 55+ isn’t all that well-acquainted with gadgets and electronic devices. Most of the parents encourage their children to read the physical book than reading an eBook. Hence, this narrows down the number to the population of teenagers and 20s to 50s. To be precise, only 30% of them are regular book readers. Therefore, the conversion to a population reading eBooks drops massively.
The Marketing Differences
Most books don’t have an eBook version. Your book may an eBook format, but it may not be known to your readers. This is the result of insufficient marketing and advertising. Many times, the readers don’t subscribe to the newsletter. So, the news about latest developments doesn’t reach the readers. This reminds me of Ray Kroc, the McDonald’s fame, quoting ‘Early to bed, early to rise, advertise advertise and advertise.’
The Target Audience Differences
For exclusive eBooks (these books are only available in e-format and are not printed), the writer’s approach matters. If the writer doesn’t focus on the right target population, the eBook may not find many takers. For example, determine whether the book is fantasy/fiction/non-fiction/cook-book/pet book/book on business and so on. Strength of mix group of readers is usually less. Hence, it is important to define the target audience.
The Trend Differences
These days many apps for free eBooks have tie-ups with many publications and large production houses. This concept hugely gobbles up the number of eBook takers, especially the individual eBook takers. Single handed publications are struggling to force away such liaisons and branding. Hence, it is difficult to crack the competition.
The Management Differences
Bringing an eBook consists of an array of factors like digital management and territorial licence restrictions. Copyright infringement has become vaguely common these days since a lot of data and stories are out there for the world to see. Imposing end number of DRMs don’t help. Another problem faced is that your access to your eBooks account of one country may not be verified by that in another country. It blocks the reader to access his own account.
There is indefinite situation when it comes to revenues and fixing royalties. The market eBooks standards are not consistent and the prices vary with all the publishers. Therefore, there isn’t a framed protocol in this sector. Since all the paid eBooks are backed on the basis of commission, in the end there is barely any return in the hands of the writer.
To conclude this article, it would be wrong to say that eBooks will disappear in the future from the market. There is a compliance factor that needs to be considered by a publisher as he needs to fulfil the readers’ requirement from all categories. Though eBooks may not have done well so far, the rapid global shift to e-commercialisation may anticipate a twist in this story. The count of writers has increased and the number of eBook reading devices has multiplied by hundreds. So, the readers have a varied choice to read from. It is difficult to predict which way the graph is to point in the future, until then, happy reading.
Jennifer Warren – Content Curator with Goodfirms.co, a research and review platform for app development companies. She has been helping many small companies establish. She has over 3 years of experience in extensive project research and has been associated with many websites. She is mainly focused on finding more ways to embed technology into daily life to make it more resourceful.