It was about four years ago when I finally got my first Kindle, but it wasn’t on purpose. It came free with the purchase of my living room set.
Ebooks were all the craze, and furniture companies were applying the marketing gimmick of curling up on your brand new sofa with a good book… errr… ebook.
Yeah. I used mine to watch Netflix.
It wasn’t until a year later when I finally downloaded my first ebook and gave it a whirl. I will admit, it was nice to have that convenience of having a book to read in just a few minutes.
Still, something was missing. I was so used to holding a print book: Admiring the cover details; feeling the paper; flipping the pages back and forth to go over certain passages; scribbling in my own thoughts….It just wasn’t the same with an ebook; it wasn’t complete. I didn’t get that full tactile and visual experience that went along with the story.
So, even though I use my Kindle to beta read client manuscripts, I still prefer print books for my personal reading pleasure.
And I don’t think I’m alone. According to Publishers Weekly, print books sales continue a slow rise, with total unit sales up 3% in the first 15 weeks of 2018. In contrast, ebook sales dropped 10%.
1. Print books are their own best marketing tool. Other people can see your print book – On the bus, in a coffee shop, at work. Someone looking for a good book to read will see and remember that your book is being read and enjoyed.
2. Everyone and their uncle seems to have an ebook nowadays. There are now over 5 million Kindle ebooks, but an astonishing number of them are poorly designed and riddled with typos. Not only that, Epub and Mobi formatting still isn’t perfect. It seems the true art of beautiful writing has been diluted, and people are beginning to lose their trust in the ebook style.
3. Print books pay better royalties. According to The Author’s Guild, publishers pay a lower royalty percentage for ebooks. Print books are still a better payout for indie authors.
4. Print books are more pleasing to handle. The pages are soft and pliable, and reading a physical book is more comfortable to the eyes, whereas reading an ebook is like staring at a computer screen – it can cause fatigue a lot sooner. Plus, it’s so much easier to flip back and forth to recapture certain elements and events of the story. Bookmarking is a breeze.
5. Bookstores are still a really cool hangout. Indie bookstores continue to thrive in spite of Amazon or other online book retailers, with a 35% growth between 2009 and 2015.
According to research conducted at Harvard Business School, this bookselling resurgence is based on the “3 C’s”: Community, Curation, and Convening. Indie bookstores (and national chains) continue to facilitate community connection, curate a more personalized customer experience, and offer events such as lectures, book signings, reading groups, and game nights.
Still, after 25 years, one of my favorite things to do is visit my favorite bookstore, grab a coffee, and peruse the shelves for a comfort book. One I can bring home and cozy up to.
On my relatively new sofa. 🙂
Interested in designing a print cover for your book? I just happen to know the perfect software for creating beautiful print and ebook covers. 😉 Read more
Hi and welcome! I’m Angela, and I’m a mom, author coach, and book designer.
Since 1999, my passion has been helping indie authors design and polish their books + increase profitability through branding.