Marketing, Opinion, Polls, Publish, Read, Reader, Writing

And what did we learn?

The main thing I learned from last week’s polls was I need to hone my poll-creator skills. I could have added a few more options. Probably a survey would have better severed my objective. Live and learn. The results also provided a private lesson, somewhat sobering, which I’ll address in a future post.

One of the factors not considered in the polls is the age of the responders, which could definitely skew the results. If all the responders had been under the age of twenty-five, the results would have weighed more heavily in the favor of e-readers and books. Still, as it is, e-readers win.

If we add voters who want an e-reader to those who already have one, plus half of those still weighing the pros and cons, electronic readers received 64% of the vote. And the Kindle is the leader of the readers.

Because of my ineptness, the other polls are not so clear-cut. Did some of those who have readers also vote in the reader app poll? Did some of those who voted they don’t use any reader apps, do so because they have a dedicated e-reader? Or are they so opposed to electronic books they won’t even use a free app to read some of the free e-books?

I was most interested to see that, apparently, even some of you who own readers would still buy books in print format at triple the price. Three of you even said you’d buy both versions. I’m curious which print books you’d prefer over their e-format. Reference books with color photos would be a good choice for me. I would also buy my favorite authors’ books in print format.

To me, it’s obvious electronic readers are here to stay. I’m not convinced they are more ecological. I’m not convinced that visually it looks “just like paper.” I am convinced, for traveling readers, they’re a fantastic convenience. I am convinced they are far superior to reading a book on a monitor, especially outdoors (except on maybe the iPad or other back-lit readers.)

Love them or hate them, I think ebooks are here to stay, and possibly be the only format for some books in the future. And I think, eventually, nearly all those who voted NEVER, will change their minds.

Books, Marketing, Opinion, Publish, Reader, Writing

Why will printed books go the way of the dinosaur?

The answer is simple, but first let me ask another question. How many of you still have a car phone, cassette player, VCR, or even analog TV? Not many, I would guess. I’m happy to have my iPhone, CD and mp3 players, Blu-Ray disc player, and widescreen, high-definition TV. They are all improvements. Does the eReader improve on traditional books?

For those who travel, eReaders are a joy. And think of the convenience when you’ll be able to download all the research materials you need from your local library—for free! Do you hate to see your kids lugging backpacks that weigh as much as they do? No more will they risk permanent spinal damage when they can download all their textbooks to an eReader. There are more pros—and cons—but let’s move on.

Printed books have been around since the mid-15th century. Isn’t it time for a change? Oh sure, we have audio books, but if we can, most of us still prefer to read the words ourselves. Until now, publishers of printed books have reigned supreme. But now they’ve been challenged—by the electronics industry.

We’re consumers. We’re techno-junkies. Of course we all want eReaders. And manufacturers are reveling in orgasmic glee because they know we all want the latest, shiniest, fastest version available and we’ll line up 24-hrs before they go on sale at midnight to get one. The content of the books won’t change, but the devices to read them will. Again and again.

Marketing genius is the real reason printed books will become obsolete.

Now, tell me, have you ventured into the eReader frontier? (For the record, I don’t own an eReader—but I’d be happy to try one if anyone’s feeling generous.)

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