Hybrid – Self-publishing – Self-publishing directly online
The growth model of publishing that has emerged in this second decade of the millennium since 2009 is hybrid and independent publishing, a combination of self/independent publishing, electronic online publishing, and local publishing through major publishers, enabling writers, authors, publishers and gives more choice to book readers.
Bookstores -v- OnLine
Booksellers are increasingly aware of the need to co-exist with changing markets and the embryo of electronic/iBooks, whose sales have grown exponentially since 2009-10. The traditional way that readers have to walk into a bookstore to find what they want and stand there to browse the potential selection does not create a relaxing environment for a new generation of book buyers. That said, there are rightly still many people who prefer to visit the still priceless booksellers and handle the textile that is the physical book and make a purchase decision.
Combining bookshops with a warm welcoming and relaxing environment where readers can feel comfortable looking at books, where there is seating to peruse a series of books and then perhaps stay for a while to consider which book( i) readers will choose to buy, making the whole book buying experience more conducive to driving increased sales.
Social media commentary itself reinforces the latter with comments about the technological convenience of eBooks/iBooks and how readers feel more relaxed and comfortable while browsing the selection of eBooks/iBooks online, a small but important part of the customer journey when purchasing eBooks/iBooks and likely means they will buy more over time. This principle needs to be better understood and applied in bookstores to balance print book sales alongside electronic/iBook formats. Books are no more threatened by electronic/iBooks than stairs are by elevators!
Hybrid + independent publishing + direct online publishing of independent work are dynamic
While there are clear steps, advantages, and disadvantages to the individual self/independent and local publishing models, hybrid publishing allows authors and publishers to take what they want from each model to create a customized, innovative approach to publishing that offers mutual benefits for all readers and authors.
A look into the future
Whether it’s an e/I or a print book, it shouldn’t pose a threat. Both formats are here to stay, but it can be predicted as we approach the 22nd century that printed books in the home will become less, mostly as an aesthetic piece of decor to create a conversation piece of dinners (reduce space and dusting) and limited to the tablet. Libraries will follow to reduce costs and be able to offer a greater range of books and publications through a large database. Told history has a habit of behavior coming full circle and returning from the present day to the nostalgic historical past, and there will undoubtedly be future generations of people who will be happy (whining, even preferring) to read a print edition of a book rather than an electronic tablet .
By no means would I wish to vilify the printed book! As I said above, there’s nothing better than handling the tactile – that’s the book. I am of a generation that grew up with printed books from school to college to university, work and free time, but I am realistic that (like most of us) we are witnessing a new era in which technology, (such as of loath), introduces a new format which is the e/iBook, which excels in the reading market, which is widely hailed by sales statistics and offers options and choices for the reader.
On a number of levels I find this exciting as it has opened up a new world for people who otherwise wouldn’t read books, wouldn’t even have access to books in third worlds and where literacy is an important part of reading to learn, and through that learning to write ! Although interactive books play an important role, people are learning to read and write, so this must be a good thing for many.
E-books/iBooks along with side print books should not be a threat
We’ve seen huge companies like HMV hold the position of tradition in records and CDs and initially wouldn’t embrace the technology that was mp3 and when they went bankrupt because of it. The publishing industry should have learned its lesson by now when it maintained its position of rigid production printing when the embryo of the broad technology in Desk Top Publishing and because of this we have unfortunately seen the majority of the printing industry decline.
ePub, ida, or whatever the format ends up being (again, almost like the 70s argument of Betamax vs. VHS), this increases the range and depth of published books and opens up the exciting prospect of so much more for generations to come.
It’s not what I’m advocating, nor necessarily what I want – but it’s the future, and if print and electronic book editions are to continue, they need to embrace each other and co-exist again. The alternative is not good for the publishing industry, and certainly not for avid readers!
It’s time to put this topic to bed and continue working together for the good of readers and publishing!!!!
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