Amazon recently announced the release of 4 new Kindles in direct competition with the Apple iPad and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Forbes’ science, tech, and culture contributor, Alex Knopp, notes that more e-books are sold at Amazon than print books because “12% of the population owns an e-reader.” The rest of the population can download free Kindle readers to computers, iPads or smart phones. Many Kindle books are offered for free, and more people are reading and buying than ever before. Many are attributing that to the Kindle.
In a recent Harris poll, “Those who have an e-Reader read more. Overall, 16% of Americans read between 11 and 20 books a year with one in five reading 21 or more books in a year (20%). But, among those who have an eReader, one-third read 11-20 books a year (32%) and over one-quarter read 21 or more books in an average year (27%).”
Harris also reports that e-readers buy more books: “One-third of Americans (32%) say they have not purchased any books in the past year compared to only 6% of e-Reader users who say the same.”
E-Readers are changing the way we read and the way we learn. Watching an interview with Carolyn Kennedy, I learned about the new book, Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy. Within a few minutes and for under $10.00, I could watch vintage videos of the Kennedys, read background information about the just released recordings and actually listen to Mrs. Kennedy, a recent widow, discuss intimate details of her life with the President. So authentic were the recordings you could hear her lighting a cigarette, ice clinking in her glass and the children interrupting. This multi modal presentation is becoming the standard for new books, but it does not mean the end of revenue for authors. It is an entirely new frontier.
With the rise of Kindle and other e-reader sales and the downloading of reading apps, more books are being sold. This is great news for authors. Even better news is that authors receive a higher percentage of the low cost digital versions than the print versions, especially if the authors are self-published and getting all the profits.
It is also a powerful marketing tool to offer a free chapter, a free supplement or an entire book at no cost with hopes of building an audience. E-books have opened up new revenue streams in this dreary economy.
Now is the best time to write and publish that book you have simmering inside, or add a book to your business sales. If you are unemployed or underemployed, channeling your difficulty into something you could share with the world might be the answer to your personal economic downturn.
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