As if you didn’t already suspect that e-readers will keep attracting buyers, a survey from Bookboon.com finds that about three-quarters of its respondents expect to be reading e-books within two years.
I can’t be sure whether the survey is statistically accurate, given that it depended on participants’ willingness to take an online survey, but it shows the growing importance of e-books. As an announcement on Bookboon said, “The huge success of tablet computers and e-readers is the major driver behind this development and in most markets these portable e-reading devices will reach a 50% market penetration by the end of 2013.”
Now, the survey asked for results internationally and while people in Europe, for example, say they are likely to be reading more e-books going forward, the European e-book marketplace is much smaller than in the United States.
Interestingly, many Europeans prefer to read books the old-fashioned way, that is, on paper. European bookstores also carry a much wider variety of novels and nonfiction in translation, compared to American bookstores. The e-book variety and availability might be greater in the U.S., but the breadth of material is wider in Europe. Go figure.
In any event, Bookboon – a Danish company that publishes free e-books, including textbooks – is onto something. It doesn’t take a survey to figure out that e-readers are growing popular. But what the survey showed is that e-readers are becoming almost second-nature. People are increasingly likely to have a tablet of some sort and to read on it. That says a lot about where you should be thinking as you put together your own book.
Think “e.” You’ll be able to get your work to market faster, and you will do no more marketing for it than if it were published by a traditional publisher. You’ll be using your platform to build an audience and drive sales, and you’ll be able to offer add-ons, free chapters, updates – in short, be nimble – and take advantage of this growing market.
As for you, do you own a tablet or e-reader? More important, are you yourself an e-reader?