Monday, October 21, 2013

How many book sales are authors losing because of uninformed readers?

Some of the 145 ebooks I can read on one of my PCs

  • In 2012, ebooks accounted for about 20 percent of American publishers’ income -- up from 15 percent the year before.
  • About 120 million tablets were sold in 2012 -- nearly seven times as many as in 2010.
Despite the eboom, not everyone wants to read ebooks.

I recently received an email from someone who was interested in one of my Kindle-only books.
He urged me to publish a pbook version because he doesn't have a Kindle, tablet or smart phone and said he can't afford one.

While new Kindles are now priced as low as $69, Nooks start at $59, no-name tablets may be bought for less than $70, and smartphones are available for FREE (with a new contract), authors face a bigger problem from readers who lack information than from readers who lack money.

This reader -- and maybe hundreds, thousands or millions of others -- did not know that he could read my ebook on the same PC he used to send me the email, without spending a penny on new equipment or software.

The advertising for exciting products from Amazon, Apple, Samsung and others is obscuring the fact that people can read ebooks without any of them.

While it may be tempting to dismiss readers who lack the latest tech toys, they do know how to read, and do buy books.

One solution is to publish both e and p (and I do that for some of my books, below).

Another solution, which is simpler and less expensive, is to be sure to mention that your ebooks can be read on almost any computer, and the bigger screen may provide a better reading experience than a small screen can.

I'm typing this while viewing a 27-inch monitor. My iPad is standing up immediately to the right of the monitor, and my Kindle Fire and smartphone are about eight feet from here. My smaller portables are great if I'm in a car, on a plane, in a hotel or doctor's office. But if I want to read an ebook while sitting at this desk, I prefer the giant screen.

It takes a lot of effort to write and promote a book. It would be a tragedy to lose sales to interested readers who think they can't read your ebooks -- but can.

Lots of people who like to read do not require portability. Let them know how easy and inexpensive it is to read what you write.

Free Kindle software for PC

Free Kindle software for Mac

Free Nook software for PC

Free Nook software for Mac

Free Adobe Digital Editions software for PC or Mac

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