Why Print Still Matters

print books ebook publishers authors readersE-reading may be growing in popularity, but most publishers today know to expect more incremental gains than ebooks first met with during their early boom years.

In the meantime, print books are doing just fine.

A recent study of authors’ publishing choices and outcomes finds that “despite the focus in much current debate on authors’ earnings from digital sales, print is still a strong component of earnings for many traditionally published authors,” according to Dana Beth Weinberg, the author of the report based on those findings.

Even among younger readers, the popularity of ebooks is not matched by a diminished interest in print.

As Weinberg puts its, “print distribution may turn out to be one area where publishers’ fixation on the wants of their readers aligns with the wants of their authors.”

Much more, including the latest data.

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Explaining Print’s Persistence (The Millions)
If the Pew and Digital Book World/Writer’s Digest data cited above offer quantitative snapshots of print books’ advantages among authors and readers, this survey of today’s hybrid print-digital book market offers a wide-ranging qualitative one.

Ten Ways to Get Kids Reading (The State)
On this roundup of methods to instill a love of reading in children, “engage with ebooks” gets only a modest mention, in eighth place (although to be fair, the list isn’t ranked best-to-worst). Were we to suggest an eleventh, it might be, “give kids more control.” Many children do seem to be gaining more autonomy over what and how they read.
Related: New Study on Children’s E-Reading Habits

HarperCollins Signs Roth for New Series (WSJ)
The publisher has sold more than 32 million copies of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, which led the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List for many weeks this time last year. Now HarperCollins signs Roth for a new, two-title series.

Another Stab at Pay-What-You-Want Publishing (Flavorwire)
Just last week Publishing Perspectives profiled a digital start-up offering a readers a pay-what-you-will model for ebooks. Now, a Brooklyn-based independent publisher tests out a similar approach.

Google Turns (Modest) Wireless Provider (Re/code)
Google confirms rumored plans to launch a wireless Internet service, but it isn’t aiming to compete directly with the major players in the industry, instead offering to help certain existing carriers innovate.
Related: Sizing up the Apple-Android Race

Women Disproportionately without Mobile Access (Teleread)
According to new research, one troubling feature of the worldwide mobile boom is the considerable rate at which women lag behind men in terms of access to mobile technology in many developing countries.

How Amazon Benefits from Net Neutrality (Bezinga)
One analyst sees Amazon, Netflix and other companies with video streaming offerings benefiting from reduced expenses associated with delivering that content as a result of the FCC’s recent rules on net neutrality. That could change depending on how Congress chooses to act on the issue.

Reading Politics in Amazon’s New Hire (International Business Times)
Some speculate that Amazon’s decision to hire former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is a gambit meant to help “cut through regulatory hurdles that threaten to derail a host of ambitious plans.” Perhaps, but an arguably more reliable way to determine how Amazon, or any other big company, might gain influence is to track its political contributions.

One thought on “Why Print Still Matters

  1. izzy

    I think there can be something really magical about reading an old printed novel – the weight of the book in your hands, the feel of the paper. While e books do have their obvious benefits, I hope the physical book doesn’t die out – that would be a real shame.



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