While many of us still love nothing better than the woodsy smell and satisfying crackle of a brand-new paperback, there’s no question eBooks also have their place.
Whether its an iPad or iPod, Kindle Fire, NOOK or smartphone, an eBook reading device provides incomparable portability. Every book you’ve ever loved or wanted to read can be right there at your fingertips in one compact, electronic toy, along with your daily morning news, monthly magazine subscriptions and even RSS feeds. Some devices even mimic the look — if not the aroma — of the printed page.
And, slowly but surely, libraries, schools and other institutions are acknowledging eBooks as an important part of a new era in reading, incorporating eReaders as part of their collections. Because eBooks are inexpensive to produce, virtual libraries give actual libraries the ability to acquire free eBooks, such as works of classic literature and reference books, and beef up their collections in a highly cost-effective manner. The technology also means libraries can “lend” eBooks just as they would a hard copy; at the end of the lending period, the book automatically expires — no need to drive back to return it.
For authors, eBooks represent an opportunity to reach out to a whole segment of book enthusiasts who may be untouchable in the paperback- or hardback-only market. Young readers, college students, parents and others who may be woefully short on personal shelf space are turning to eBooks for practical reasons.
Others are tapping into the unparalleled convenience and immediacy of instantly searchable and downloadable entertainment. If you’re selling only hard copies, you’re shutting out millions of potential readers who could stumble upon your book in no time with a simple keyword search.
EBook publishing also increases the odds of sales growth by appealing to the “early adopters” who are embracing a technology that is trending up. Marketing an eBook across several electronic formats further increases your sales potential by exposing your book to readers who may be loyal to specific eReader devices and formats.