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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Twenty-eight of the top 50 books listed in USA Today today are ebooks. Fifteen are hardback. Only seven are paperback. Hate to see paperbacks go the way of the Dodo.
 

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I suspect that eventually, trad publishing may become mostly print-on-demand.  I have bought maybe 5 paperbacks since I got my ereader. 

I haven't read a single one of them.
 

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I hate hardcovers. They're too large to comfortably hold in one hand (like you can do with an e-reader or a paperback -- and trust me, this is important when you're trying to read while holding a baby), and they don't fit in a purse.
 

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I believe that paper and hard backs will eventually go extinct. I always said that I loved paperbacks and hardbacks, and yes I love to see them on my shelves, BUT since I got an ereader a few years ago and then traded up to a kindle fire, every time that I try to read a paperback, I find myself hating it. They are hard to hold, hurt my wrists, can't turn the pages while holding the baby or cooking dinner, etc...

Plus, I have a book review site, as well as an editing business, and the bookmark feature on the kindle is out of this world for remembering spots that I want to include in my review.

I also publish anthologies and since my first one came out I have sold around 200 ebooks, but only 5 paperbacks. The money, and the interest, is just not there anymore. Why pay $10+ for a book when you can pay half that for a more convenient digital copy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
Um, are we looking at the same list? Because on this one it appears every single book has a print version. Perhaps you are confusing the fact that some of the books link to the Kindle version while others link to different versions?
A little box over to the side explains the formats in which the books were purchased. Leading up to Christmas, the most popular format was hardcovers (31 of the top 50).
 
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T. B. Crattie said:
A little box over to the side explains the formats in which the books were purchased. Leading up to Christmas, the most popular format was hardcovers (31 of the top 50).
OK, I'm having a blind moment. I don't see the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bards and Sages (Julie) said:
OK, I'm having a blind moment. I don't see the box.
I'm afraid I'm looking at the paper, not the web site. ;D
 

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I think that we'll have paper books for a very long time yet, certainly as long as my generation is alive. They make better gifts and the ability to get them signed is a big plus for a lot of people.

I do think that the mass market paperback may be an endangered species, though. The prices used to be so cheap, but now that they're in the $8-9 range, I see ebooks becoming the new paperback, especially if ebook prices come down a bit.

I've come to prefer ebooks, personally. I don't have a baby to juggle but I do have dogs, and now that the Kindle is self-lit, the balance definitely tilts in the Kindle's favor.
 

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There's nothing better than walking into an old secondhand book store - the smell, the excitement, the nostalgia and the peace of mind - but they are becoming fewer and fewer which is a damn shame.

However with the world turning to online facilities - can we blame people for wanting information and products on demand, straight away?  It's just the way things have gone.

E-Books offer more profit and less impact on the environment, so it's all going to be digital, sooner or later - just my thoughts :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
BenEBrewer said:
There's nothing better than walking into an old secondhand book store - the smell, the excitement, the nostalgia and the peace of mind - but they are becoming fewer and fewer which is a d*mn shame.

However with the world turning to online facilities - can we blame people for wanting information and products on demand, straight away? It's just the way things have gone.

E-Books offer more profit and less impact on the environment, so it's all going to be digital, sooner or later - just my thoughts :)
Yes, and I wonder if nice, well-made paperbacks and hardbacks are going to be collector's items. In which case, I would be in good shape because I have a fairly decent library. (I used to know a guy who bought two Beatles albums every time a new one came out--from the start. He would listen to one and wrap the other in a plastic cover and squirrel it away. I often wonder how much that collection is worth now.)
 

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I've had the same opinion since 2009 when I first got a kindle and never thought about writing. A lot of people read one or two books a year. They usually either buy a hardback of something new or are gifted with it or they read a disposable mass market blockbuster. Those will keep up on paper. The mid-list and back-list? The stuff that readers read? That's going electronic. Effectively the world of paper books will eventually shrink to selection you find at the airport book kiosk.
 
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In all seriousness, I think you are misinterpreting the listing. I don't have the print edition so I don't know the exact wording of the box, but I suspect it pointed out that 15 of the books on the bestsellers list sold more ebook versions than print version. This is NOT the same thing as saying 15 of the top 50 are ebooks. In order for the list to mean what you think it means, they would have to be counting each format separately in addition to counting each title's sales. i.e. treating the ebook version as a completely different title from the print versions. The USA Today bestseller's list generally counts all formats together (unlike the NYT, which breaks out hardcover sales into its own list, for example).

Your version says that 30% of the books sold were still hardcovers. At first glance, that might lead someone to adopt the "death of print" mantra. But look more closely at the actual books on the list. Safe Haven, the #1 book, was first released in 2010. The Hunger Games was first released in 2008. Life of Pi was first released in 2002. All of these titles have already "sold through" their hardcover runs. That is the norm of the publishing industry: hardcover first, then paperback format. Some of the titles (like the 50 Shades books, never had a hardcover version because of their genres (romances tend not to be released in hardcover...ever). Yet DESPITE the fact that many of the titles on the list either never had a hardcover version OR have for the most part sold through their hardcover phase, 30% of the books sold were STILL hardcover.

In short, the notion that print is dying is somewhat overrated. If you actually look deeper at the numbers, we are nowhere near the death of print.

 

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Cynthia Shepp said:
I also publish anthologies and since my first one came out I have sold around 200 ebooks, but only 5 paperbacks. The money, and the interest, is just not there anymore. Why pay $10+ for a book when you can pay half that for a more convenient digital copy?
Our anthologies still do quite well at conventions where readers can get the authors to sign copies.
 

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Dan C. Rinnert said:
Maybe they should do hard cover books on demand.
You can do POD hardcover through Lightning Source. They offer two kinds: laminate (think textbook), and stamped cloth with dust jacket. "Stamped cloth" means a cloth cover with gold lettering stamped on the spine.

You can use the fact that the hardback version is a separate edition to your advantage. You can set your paperback to have a 20% discount for the online market and set your hardback to 55% for the library market. Also make the hardback returnable if you plan to push it to bookstores.

As others have said, I don't sell much in print, but it's a nice option to have. I haven't produced a hardback edition myself yet, but I've seriously considered it just because I want one!
 
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