Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.
We will no longer be writing about e-books at DigitalBookWorld.com. Due to a change in strategy, market forces, Google and the will of the people, we will now be devoting our coverage to the world of ebooks and digital publishing.
Before you panic, don’t worry! We’re still going to do all the things you’ve come to know us for this year: news, analysis, opinion, e-book best-seller coverage, the DBW Daily and more. We’re just going to start calling “e-books” “ebooks.”
Let me tell you why we’re doing this.
Just over a year ago today, when I started as editorial director of Digital Book World, I had a very important decision to make: e-books, ebooks or eBooks? My journalistic sensibility pushed me toward the first option, a sense of what was happening in the industry pushed me toward the second and the third struck me as more of a brand name than the proper descriptor for a thing.
So, in May, I wrote a blog post that got a lot of attention on DBW.com, “E-Books vs. Ebooks vs. eBooks.” In it, I talked about why we might go with each of the choices. Here is a summary of the reasons for each:
— It’s accepted style: (New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Manual of Style were my sources.) E-books: +1
— The logic: “E” is a descriptor for something we already know. You smash those things together with a hyphen. E-books: +1
— Convenience: What do you do with “e-reader”? The Sony eReader is a product, further complicating things. E-books: +1; eBooks: -1
— Ubiquity: Ebooks are quickly reaching the point where they are ubiquitous in society. It might take a few more years yet, but I think that ebooks will soon be as common as email, which has successfully made the transition from e-mail (though apparently not at the New York Times). Ebooks: +1
— Search: Google likes “ebooks” better than it likes “e-books.” You can go back and look at my original post on this, but I base this assertion on some keyword research. Basically, “ebooks” is a more searched term with less competition than “e-books”. Ebooks and eBooks: +1 (Google doesn’t distinguish between the two.)
— The people: We conducted an online poll, asking people what they wanted. Nearly 50% of 958 votes went to “eBooks.” eBooks: +1
— Leading the conversation: We at Digital Book World want to help lead the discourse around ebooks and digital publishing. By going with ebooks, there’s an opportunity for us to do that, to say to the world, “ebooks are here and they’re big business now.” Ebooks: +1
— My own sensibility and that of other journalists: When I wrote about this in May, I consulted many of my journalism friends about it and the overwhelming answer was “e-books.” After publishing, I received several more notes about it from people encouraging me to continue to carry to the torch of proper style. I agree with these people in principle. E-books: +1
So, that’s how I made my decision to go with “e-books.” And it’s served us at Digital Book World well ever since.
But that was then and this is now. From now on, editorial at DBW will be using the style “ebooks.” While there are other parts of the site that might still have the other usages, we will attempt to transition them as well.
Here are my reasons:
1. Search (see above)
2. Ubiquity (see above)
3. Leading the conversation (see above)
4. Twitter: #e-books doesn’t work as a hash-tag. #ebooks works fine.
While I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, I’ve timed this post to coincide with the launch of a new module on our homepage highlighting our Ebook Best-Seller list (to the right and a bit above where you are reading now). Notice it’s called “Top Ebook Best-Sellers.”
Related: E-Books vs. Ebooks vs. eBooks