Books In Modern Form Will Never Go Away

Mar 07, 2019

Books are dead. At least, that’s what some people believe. It’s easy to understand their pessimism. Television, streaming, and internet take up so much of people's’ time these days that it only makes sense that readership numbers are declining. The days when people would curl up on a rainy day with a good book, the words on the page transporting them to new worlds, seem like a remnant of a more inspired past. In truth, though, despite the hemming and hawing of Luddites, books are not dead. They’re just evolving. While print books may not be as prevalent as they were a few decades ago, EBooks are taking up the mantle and adapting to the stresses and rigors of modern life in ways that their older counterparts could not. Bibliophiles and authors struggling in the modern world might want to give them a try.

How to Write Your Own EBook

For many authors today, EBooks are the way of the future. There are any number of reasons why an author might choose to publish an EBook. It might be for money, exposure, or even just practice. Once an author has written a book, there are a few ways for them to get published. One of the most popular publishers of EBooks is Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, where authors can publish EBooks for free while keeping 70% royalties. Other EBook publishers include Lulu, Smashwords, and Booktango. Each publisher has its own strengths and weaknesses to become familiar with, however, so make sure to do plenty of research before selecting one. If an author is adept at digital marketing and sales and has the confidence and know-how to promote themselves to a broader audience, there is money and recognition to be earned selling EBooks.

Best-Selling Styles of Books

For authors looking to publish EBooks, there are a few genres that are more likely to land with audiences than others. Both mystery and speculative fiction (fantasy/sci-fi) are major forces in EBook publishing, making up 25% and 13% of Amazon EBook sales in 2014 respectively. However, romance titles no doubt make up the largest market share, with a whopping 33% of all Amazon EBook sales coming from romance titles. These four genres are said to be the dominant force in EBook publishing today. Nonfiction authors shouldn’t fret, though. Nonfiction sales do make up the second-highest percentage of EBooks sold on Amazon, totaling up to 25%. They also have the highest percentage of self-published sales of any genre, with self-published nonfiction titles coming out to 5% of overall sales.

How to Find Free EBooks

There are also plenty of options out there for people wanting to read EBooks rather than write them. Perhaps the easiest is, in fact, the oldest: the local library. Most libraries offer free EBooks to interested readers through apps like Overdrive and Libby. All a person needs is a library card to use these apps and gain access to the library’s full EBook catalogue. Alternatively, for readers looking for older titles, there is Project Gutenberg, an open-source project dedicated to the digitization of titles that are in the public domain. So far they’ve accumulated over 57,000 titles, most of which are available in a variety of formats, including simple HTML. Finally, if you’re a Kindle user who also has an Amazon Prime account, you can also gain Kindle store credit for certain purchases using your Prime account

EBooks are a wide-open frontier for people willing to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. Whether for authors or readers, EBooks represent an exciting new opportunity-- a vast swathe of uncharted territory for the pioneers of the next generation to explore. Books aren’t dead. They’re not going anywhere. They are just evolving.

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