Writing, // February 28, 2016
Book Publishing in the Digital Age
Book publishing in the Digital Age, and times of streamed entertainment —
by – Luiz Valério de Paula Trindade
As it is widely known, in the early 20th century when the television was invented and started to enter the homes of millions of consumers across the globe, there were voices within the movie industry concerned that the television could potentially represent the end of the cinema everywhere in a few years’ time. Fortunately however, time proved otherwise and those concerns had not become a sort of self-fulfilled prophecy and, as we know, both the television and the movie industry have equally prospered over the following decades.
Likewise, not so many years ago when the pioneer e-books and e-readers devices started to reach the markets in a larger scale, there were also voices advocating that the days of the traditional book were counted. Well, the story has not finished yet, but I personally do not see things this way. In fact, I consider that there are market opportunities and audiences for both products so to speak (i.e.: the traditional book and the digital one).
I believe that among the number of factors that drive the consumers into a high street bookshop and pick up a particular title of their interest include, for instance, the pleasant shopping experience, the tactical sensation of holding it on their hands, skimming through the pages in order to have an idea of its content, admiring the cover, comparing it with other titles on the shelves, and to offer it as a gift to someone they care about.
On the other hand (and here I think that the story becomes quite interesting), the traditional book faces a huge market challenge nowadays due to the simple fact that presently there are so many entertainment options available to the consumers that the competition to grab their attention is fierce. There is the regular television, cable TV with dozens and sometimes even hundreds of channels to choose from, movies on demand delivered online on a person’s computer or straight through the television, millions of videos on streaming available on YouTube and Vimeo, dozens of social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Google+, Instagram, etc.), a variety of music platforms straight on the consumers’ mobile or smartphone and instantly within the reach of their hands wherever they happen to be. And not to mention other gadgets that also grab the consumers’ attention such as smart watches and video game consoles such as PlayStation, Xbox, Wii and alike.
Evolving from this picture, if you compare peoples’ reading behavior on means of public transportation for example (bus, underground, tram and railway) you will notice clearly that a decade or so ago there were a larger amount of people reading books, magazines and newspapers while commuting than nowadays. Currently, it is much easier to find people engrossed on their smartphones, tablets, e-readers and other devices than holding a traditional book (even though they are still out there). Additionally, even the traditional newspapers and weekly news magazines had to adapt themselves to this new scenario providing digital versions of their content updated in real time in order not to loose relevance to other dynamic sources of information that eventually the reader could turn their attention to.
Consequently, within this context of an immense web of offerings of digital entertainment content and large array of possibilities available in real time to the consumers, I believe that it also represents the convenient setting for the steady growth of the e-book market within the near future because the consumers are increasingly going digital anyway. In conclusion, the way I see it happening, it is not the total extermination or extinction of the traditional books per se, but rather what I envision is the fact that authors (mainly independent and self-published ones, but not exclusively) should seriously consider making their work also widely available online in e-book format across a variety of retailers and publication platforms because there is the place where the audience is. Therefore, if you as an author really want a slice of the reading market, there is no other way than to go after where the readers are.
Luiz Valério de Paula Trindade is a independent Brazilian author in the early stages of his writing career.
Clube de Autores: http://clubedeautores.com.br/authors/140299
Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/luiz-valerio-paula-trindade/id946586586?mt=11
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Luiz+Valério+De+Paula+Trindade
Bubok Portugal: http://www.bubok.pt/autores/luizvalerio