Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How many books are not purchased because of uninformed readers?

Some of the 150-plus books I can read almost anywhere
  • In 2013 ebooks provided about 15 percent of American publishers’ income. Because ebooks generally sell for less than pbooks do, the percentage of ebook unit sales was probably 30% or more.
  • Millions of ereaders, tablets and smartphones are in use. 
Despite the eboom, not everyone wants to read ebooks (or knows how to do it).

I 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 smartphone and said he can't afford one.

While new Kindles are now priced as low as $69, Nooks have been sold for as little as $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 free, 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.

This is the notice I've put in the product descriptions for my recent Kindle books: "
NOTE: you don't need to own a Kindle e-reader to read a Kindle-formatted book like this one. You can use a PC, iPad or other tablet, smart phone, Nook, etc."  You have my permission to copy it.

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 being charged 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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