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Why eReaders Won’t Die


A bunch of digital authors were panicking last week when they read that research analysts are projecting that eReader sales will fall off a cliff in 2013.

According to iSuppli, eReader shipments will supposedly drop by 27% by next year. Whether this prediction is accurate, or if it’s not, I’m not the least bit worried… Let me explain.

Throughout history, one form of media rarely replaces another entirely. eBooks will not kill print, and tablets won’t kill eReaders…

That DOESN’T mean that you should go into the eReader business. At least, I wouldn’t invest in a company that produces or sells eReaders exclusively…

Still, eReaders aren’t going anywhere; just look at some of the comments on the blog last week. If those aren’t glowing endorsements for how much people like Kindles and Nooks, I don’t know what is.

eContent Consumption is Exploding

If the cooldown on eReaders has you worried, maybe you should take a look at how fast the digital book market is expanding. Actually, expanding makes it sound too slow… it’s blowing up! It’s a bull in a china shop!

And the fastest growth comes around this time every year. For example, in the  three months from Nov. 2011-Jan. 2012, the number of ebook buyers in the US increased from 17% to 20% — that’s almost 18% growth in your customer base in three months!

How much do you think it’s growing right now? One thing is for sure, with the demand for ebooks growing like wildfire, there’s no chance of eReaders dying out. In fact, Amazon just unveiled a whole new series of b&w screen Kindles… even though tablet sales are skyrocketing.

People are still buying eReaders and they will continue for a while, because they’re a better book delivery system than iPads. Then again, my landline never dropped calls, yet I got rid of it in favor of an iPhone that drops calls on a daily basis — because it does so much more.

In the end, there’s this…

eReaders Aren’t Devices

One of the main takeaways for digital authors and publishers is that you’ve got focus on what matters and stay flexible — especially right now while the publishing industry is undergoing massive changes.

Will tablets eventually replace most eReader devices? My guess is that they will (it won’t be soon). But it doesn’t matter…

Why? Because eReaders aren’t hardware; they’re software.

Just as we found out that “books” don’t necessarily have to be made out of ink and paper, eReaders don’t have to have to be single-purpose machines with B&W screens. They’re essentially apps.

Battery life, screen resolutions, readability… those are hardware characteristics. Reader apps are what marketers should be focusing on.

The devices will come and go, while Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo… these are the brands and formats that will dominate the digital book market for the next few years.

Go download my Kindle book, “The Digital Publishing Revolution,” create an Amazon KDP account, and check out Guy Kawasaki’s new publishing book “APE.”

The sooner you learn how to make money in these fast-growing ecosystems you can rule the ePublishing future!

Share your thoughts about which ePub platforms are going to make you the most money in 2013… Leave me a comment!

Talk soon,

Ryan

 


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About Josh Loposer

Josh is the managing editor of Digital Marketer, as well an aspiring novelist. Find out more about what Josh is working on on Facebook, Google, or on his website.
View all posts by Josh Loposer ➞

Comments:

  • Mayme E. Onstad says:

    Amazon ebooks

  • Mayme E. Onstad says:

    I have joined you for the purpose of finding out how to do ebooks!! I have a lady to help me with computer work after the first of the year. She knows something about marketing! I have left phone messages with Jeff Usner, with you support group and David McMenorney, and have not heard from anyone!

  • jabulani says:

    Hi Ryan. previously I sent you emails requesting you to help me sell my ebooks on kindle as well as my book on createspace. I know that it is difficult to sell books but with your expertise I think I could have sold enough to be able to buy a house for my family for Christmas. We Are still homeless and have no food. I was hoping you would help. My e/books are
    1. Dark Blood
    2. Through Horus’ Eye
    3. Alphology
    4. The Divine Truth Setting Us Free
    they are all authored by myself.
    Thanking you in advance.
    Jabulani Nzilane

  • Brian says:

    Until tablets come out with a setting that allows the user to switch to and e-ink display for serious reading, rather than the eye-killing back lit display , they will not likely replace ereaders. I got my kindle touch so that I could read for extended periods without the eye strain and headaches that come with reading on ipads, ipods, and computer screens and I also like to read outside…an area where non eink devices suck donkey, er, you get the idea. As long as there are folks who actually like to read more than they like to watch movies or throw birds at pigs, ereaders will still do just fine.

    • Josh Loposer says:

      Agreed. I think that tablets will get there someday, but eReaders are a lot more functional for reading right now.

  • Ray says:

    Even though Amazon is the market leader in digital self-publishing, I’m also familiarizing myself with Smashwords and Ganxy. This is a very exciting time for digital content creators.

  • salam says:

    thank u this is malvilous. am wishing u much much in these prosperous comnlg new year .

  • Anne says:

    Right on the button Ryan, and timely – I’m just adding the finishing touches to my first publication and very excited. Best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.

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