Guest post by Chris Schoebinger, Product Director/Creative Director at Deseret Book
For Christmas my wife and I decided to get my 68-year-old mother an e-Reader. However, we were unsure about her reaction. She’s a voracious reader, but she’s never read an e-Book. When she opened her gift and realized what she’d received, thankfully, she was ecstatic! She said she had been very curious about e-Readers. Last week she called me and said that her e-Reader was the best Christmas present she’d ever received. She’s already ordered dozens of e-Books and loves the idea of “carrying” a library with her. Welcome to the world of e-publishing, mom!
Neilson reports that there are approximately 45M-50M iPads in market at the end of 2011. Amazon is trending to sell 15 million Kindle Fires by 2013. One in six Americans now use e-Readers, with one in six likely to purchase in the next six months. The good news is that many surveys show that e-Reader users are more likely to read and purchase more books than non-users.
Of course, the LDS publishing world is not exempt from what is happening in e-Publishing. One of the ways that Deseret Book publishing has responded is by launching the Deseret Bookshelf app. As of January 2012, this relatively new app has more than 100,000 installs (downloaded copies of Bookshelf) with more than 1,400 titles. With each traditional book that Deseret Book publishes, an e-Book is released at the same time for Bookshelf users and soon after through Amazon. Deseret Bookshelf also uniquely offers enhanced e-Books that include embedded videos within the book itself. For example, the new enhanced e-Book by Elder David A. Bednar, INCREASE IN LEARNING, includes embedded videos featuring Elder Bednar teaching principles from within the book. In addition, this coming year look for new and interactive children’s e-Books from Deseret Book e-Publishing featuring the bells and whistles that only a digital book can offer.
Whenever I meet with authors who are in the writing process, I ask them, “What are your thoughts about a digital book or enhanced e-Book?” In other words, think about how you might use digital elements or video to enhance the written word. The way we read books is changing. The way we consume literature is evolving. It’s becoming a multi-sensory experience. Authors who can think along these lines will be that much farther ahead and better prepared to help their publisher in a digital revolution.
Certainly, e-Publishing will make it easier for anyone to get a book published. However, I believe this will make branded e-Publishers a trusted source. Publishers and imprints should become more important as consumers check to see if they are purchasing an e-Book from a reliable and notable source, particularly if it’s a brand-new author.
Traditional publishing will still be around (at least for a while), but publishers who aren’t responding to the disruptive technology of e-Publishing could very well be writing their final chapter.