Monday, January 14, 2013

 On starting a book publishing company
even though e-books are going crazy!
            Get your Kindle today!  According to Discover magazine the sales of ebooks grew by 34% in 2012.  Even though that was a slower rate than the year before, a 34% rate is still indeed healthy.  Razib Khan, the author of the piece, says he believes that rate is “a sign…that the explosive phase is giving way to robust and expansionary growth as the market slouches toward maturation.”

            Still, if you don’t have an e-reader of some sort you’re “up the creek.”

            If you can’t say to the plane passenger in the seat next to you “I just love my Kindle (or Nook or whatever)” you’re “up the creek.”

            That’s what a great number of really, really sophisticated people seem to think these days.1

            While I do occasionally enjoy reading a book in digital form, and have a number of books on my Kindle, I guess I’m not yet “really, really” sophisticated.  

            However, I find that I am “above average” in terms of books read in a year’s time.

            Recent surveys show that 25% of Americans admitted reading no books in a year, while the median number of books read was 6.5.

            Khan (in Discover) says “this I think gets at the heart of why e-books aren’t as popular as you might expect: books aren’t that popular!”

            That’s a disturbing thought to serious readers, to book publishers, book sellers, libraries and authors everywhere.

            But wait!  If books in general aren’t “that popular,” as Khan suggests, why have 88,562 books already been published world-wide in these first few of weeks of 2013?

            Those numbers come from statistics published by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

            UNESCO reports that in 2010 (the last full year for which numbers are available) 2.2 million books were published throughout the world (the report does not distinguish between print books and ebooks).

            The U.S. leads the way with 328,259 new titles, followed by the United Kingdom with 206,000.

            According to Pew Research Center nearly 90% of ebook readers continue to read physical volumes.  Pew Research is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that “having survived 500 years of technological upheaval, Gutenberg’s invention may withstand the digital onslaught as well.  There’s something about a crisply printed, tightly bound book that we don’t seem eager to let go of.”

But Kahn has a different take.  Reading has always been subject to periodic revolution,” he writes.  I am dismayed by the fixation of some on the physical medium of the book, as opposed to the information content of the book.”            

Raspberry Creek Books will continue to publish books in print.  And we’ll offer them in ebook form as well. 

The idea is to get fine reading content out there to those who want it. 

We believe there are plenty of folks like you who appreciate books in general and who like to see important and enjoyable books on their shelves (or on their e-readers).

Stay tuned to “Up the Creek” and let us know what you think.

(Thanks to Mark Todd, co-author (with wife Kym O’Connell-Todd) of “All Plucked Up,” book two of the Silverville Saga, published by Raspberry Creek Books, for sending me a link to the Discover magazine article).      


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