It wasn’t that long ago that eBooks were the rage, and if you didn’t offer an eBook edition of your book, your sales would suffer. Now the popularity with eBooks seems to be waning, but I wouldn’t call them dead. People are still buying them, they’re just not buying them as often as before.
Like any fad, eBook popularity was bound to change, and I think it’s due to a number of factors.
1) Kindles are a fun toy, but as with any new toy, people eventually get tired of it and move on to the next new toy.
2) eBooks gave many first-time authors an opportunity to write and easily publish their books. Problem was, too many of these books were poorly written and badly edited, and readers got tired of crappy books.
3) Kindles, just like any other battery operated device, run out of power, usually at the most inconvenient times. It’s annoying to have the low battery warning pop up just as you’re getting to the most interesting part of the book, or, worse yet, have the screen suddenly go black. I’m getting more and more annoyed myself because it seems every time I open my Kindle, the battery is dead. This never happens with a print book.
4) It’s difficult to go back and reread a Kindle book, and when I really enjoy a book I like to go back and do a second read later on. Loaning a book to a friend or relative can’t be done if they don’t have a Kindle, but it’s a non issue with a print book. I can also easily go back and reread a print book.
5) And, finally, some people, including yours truly, simply prefer the feeling of holding a printed book in their hands. Electronic tablets can feel heavy after awhile, but most paperback books weigh less than a tablet.
This is why it’s important to publish both print and eBook editions of your book. Amazon even offers a product called Kindle Matchbook, which gives buyers a discount for the eBook edition if they purchase a printed book. Yes, eBooks will always be with us, but I, for one, am happy to see print books becoming popular again.
P.S. The content on the Kindle photo is a page from The Deception, one of my Marina Martindale novels.