I read so many great books in 2012, and it is mainly thanks to owning a Kindle. I don’t think I’ve ever read 60 or so books in a year before. The fat ‘Game of thrones’ series did take a serious amount of time, but I have read a decent amount of classics and also many other industry related books too.
I don’t think eBooks were ever going to instantly kill off all physical editions of books, but if more books are being read as a result of digital, it can only be a good thing. The only books I would think about owning a physical edition now would be those such as recipe books, reference books or those ‘coffee table’ style books. Having moved several times to small flats in central London, once carrying book-laden boxes up 3 flights of stairs, having a ton of old novels I don’t read does not seem that wise.
Sales of eReaders Decreasing
Apparently eReader sales are slowing, and tablet sales are rising. I don’t really see them as the same thing, as I think the less distractions on reading devices the better. Anyway, an e-book is something you would own for a number of years, and you should really be measuring the purchases from the devices. Every time I need to buy a book, I don’t buy a new Kindle. Many people who were the target market for these devices probably already own one.
Whitepaper Content Should Also to Be Designed for E-Readers
One advantage a tablet has over e-readers is handling different file formats. The Kindle struggles with PDF files, and it is very difficult to Zoom into documents of this type.
I have had this issue with a lot of ‘content marketing’ whitepapers I have downloaded. It makes sense to me that if you havve put lots of effort into publicising and designing a white paper, why not release a more text heavy version for eReaders? I like to read on my Kindle whilst in bed, and not be forced to use a computer or waste paper by printing.
An example of an eBook done well is how Google released their free eBook,’Winning the Zero Moment of Truth‘. This is well worth a read for all digital marketers.
eBook Publishing Using kdselect
One of the points at the end of Kelvin’s talk at Search London back in September 2012 was about Amazon’s direct publishing service for Kindles, ‘kdselect’. I took a look into this as I had the idea that it may be easy to re-purpose some white papers into this format for some clients.
E-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle have certainly transformed how many people read and, with the rise in self-publishing services, we’re seeing the barriers to producing books reducing. After all, this is how the fastest selling book of all time, Fifty Shades of Grey, started out. The statistics speak for themselves: the number of high street book shops has almost halved in the UK since 2005, whilst concurrently there has been a a surge in eBook sales with a 366% increase experienced in Britain last year. EBooks are now big business and mainstream.
EBooks are used a lot in the digital marketing world, partly because things change so rapidly and also for the ease of publication and monetisation. By the time many physical books about digital are released they are probably already out of date! With an eBook, you can release and then update as things change. It is also good practise to improve your standard of writing before you are probably good enough to be published in print. It may also help you get a publishing deal. As example of this is where Kelvin himself published an eBook about link building back in 2011, and referred to this in his presentation, and mentioned that some areas such as article distribution techniques may need updating!
We’ve all done it, shared items on social media without even reading the article. A lot of content is fantastic, but it is long, and it might need several visits to fully digest. It is this content which companies and individuals need to publish to on eReaders. Even a set of the best blog posts from a well-subscribed site might make a great eBook. It IS currently possible to subscribe to some blogs on the Kindle, but usually at £1.99 a pop, it seems a bit steep for content that is generally free.
It will be exciting to see what happens this year in regards to publishing content in different formats, there is now so much being produced, but is it all being read?