Another Death Announcement

The death of Common Sense triggered another death announcement... the paper book. although still early in the game, the writing is on the wall.

Are paper books going to be obsolete soon?

Paper books may face extinction soon

Another Death announcement… printed paper Books

Although still premature for publishing, the writing is on the wall. Literally!

Amazon, The world’s largest book retailer online, announced that the month of May has been the third month in a row that e-books outsold “paperbacks” and that the margins are growing by leaps and bounds.

What was only a short 6 months ago a “Christmas Fluke” – e-Books outselling paper versions – has now become a steadily growing margin that for every 100 paper books Amazon sells 180 e-Books.

Of course the lowering of the Kindle reader from $260 to $190 has contributed and tripled the device’s sales according to Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon, yet the online retailer has also taken every precaution to provide e-Books via Apple iPad apps, Microsoft windows format as well as a droid version being readied for release to stave off a possible device swing that may put their e-Book reader Kindle in a tight spot.

Notably the iPad has not yet taken the pole position in the e-Book reader class, but we haven’t seen the “back to school” reports that may show a significant surge towards the educational device of choice – rather the logging around 40 pounds of paper books a 1.5 Lbs tablet may show the real alternative – and become also a Kindle e-Book reader competitor by true force.

Time will tell, however no matter which e-readers will survive and become leaders in the e-Book class, the paper versions are doomed in the near future as declining printruns (the amount of printed copies required to satisfy the paper book market) will make the hardcover version financially obsolete.

What do you think? Let us know you opinion.

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  1. tommylee

    Job losses will be enormous, yet new job descriptions will replace those lost in the printing industry, but it will take a change of mentality and “reschooling” to move into those new paperless book preparations. The opportunities are endless but if you're employed in the printing business you better start now in preparing for your future.

    I also believe that the magazine business will see a major shift albeit slower than paper books that can expect a “clean sweep” lasting less then 3 years to complete.

  2. publisher_sa

    Just out from the University of Michigan is a report that if facts do not support our dogmatic beliefs, the large majority of people dig their feet in the sand and reject the facts for their beliefs. Facts are scary and record fundamental changes that are taking place and contrary to politicians abusing the meaning of change, people are not properly educated anymore to embrace change. Even sunny days in summertime have become a “birthright” to put it ridiculous.
    “Preparing for the inevitability of change” is an educational process that has been neglected in learning institutions for many years and is now coming to haunt us.

    What Apple and Amazon are experiencing with the enormous sales of iPad and e-books, is the early innovators and adoption phase of the marketing Bell curve. And imagine that the iPad is not even available yet in many countries in Europe, where its citizens approach 'us living in the States', to buy for and send them these tools. You're absolutely right that iPad and tools like that will entirely replace higher educational print like a tidal wave.

    I was in a meeting yesterday when someone walked in a proudly showed me that he could now read my Search Amelia stories on his iPhone, indicating that even laptops are losing their mobility advantage and are becoming desktop fixtures.

  3. tommylee

    You are most certainly right and the bell curve seems to develop as a vertical line rising line with speculations that the iPad will have reached in 75 days of sales 4 million in the US alone making it the most successful consumer product launch ever.

    Facts and dogmatic beliefs didn't make the “oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffett richer then God, but common sense and direction and that's whom we just buried… right?

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