Friday, 8 March 2013

The Future of Ebooks & Readers: By Stephanie Burkhart




It's National "Read an Ebook" week here in the US and I've found several "deals and steals" all week. Check out Rebecca J. Vickery's last post for some great deals for ebook week. You can also visit: http://www.ebookweek.com/index.html

On Monday, I talked a little about the history of ebooks on my blog (http://sgcardin.blogspot.com) along with the growing popularity of ebook readers, starting with Amazon and Sony in the mid-2000's. Let's take a look at the future. What are the best ebook readers? What's the advantage of having an ebook? Are ebooks & readers here to stay?

Since Amazon introduced the Kindle in 2007, Ebook readers have been on the rise. Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Apple now offer competitive ebook readers at affordable prices.

In 2009, Amazon's basic ebook reader, the 2nd generation Kindle sold for $259.00. Now you can get the basic 3rd generation Kindle model (WiFi only) for $79.00. Kindle now offers several models for various price points to suit every reader. They offer 3G and Fire versions along with bigger screens. In fact, all of the ebook readers companies – Sony, B&N, Kobo, & Apple – offer various models at affordable prices. Every company has their advantages and disadvantages so it really comes to what you want in an ereader and how much you are willing to pay.

Advantages of an ereader:

Affordability
At a practical price, more readers are willing to check an ereader out.

Internet friendly to use
Most people these days have some Internet smarts/savvy. On Amazon, you can buy an ebook with one click and have it sent to your ereader. Sony, Amazon, B&N, and Kobo have made their Internet stores easy to maneuver. Sites such as All Romance Ebooks make it simple to buy an ebook. Programs like Calibre help to convert to the format of ebook you need.

Price Friendly
Ebooks are price friendly.  If you're a savvy shopper, you can find ebooks for free, for 99 cent, and other price friendly points.

Instant Gratification
Ebooks and readers nowadays help to satisfy the "instant gratification" of today's market with their accessibility and easy-to-buy format.

Ebook readers are:
Lighter than books
Saves storage space
They're easy to buy


So, what does the future hold for ebooks/readers? I see the readers continuing to improve. They'll become lighter, faster, and more convenient to carry.

Question for you: I'd love to hear your thoughts. What do you think the future holds for ebooks and ebook readers?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. Her latest release is "The Secret Door," Book 4 in the Budapest Moon Series. Her 99 cent story, "Journey of the Heart" is an Amazon Best Seller. She lives in Castaic, CA, has two boys, is addicted to coffee and loves a good piece of chocolate, especially Cadbury Crème Eggs.


Enjoy an ebook. I'm offering my stories, Christmas in Bayeux and A Polish Heart for Free on Smashwords during "Read an Ebook" week.



If you enjoy the stories, please give it a review. I'd really appreciate it.
Smiles
Steph

6 comments:

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Nice post Steph. I'm thinking ebooks and ereaders will get more popular, but I don't think they'll completely replace paper books. (Though the ereaders may come to look and feel more like books themselves to accommodate our age-old habit of holding books.)

This next bit sort of leads back to my thought -- I have a classic ipod with over 7000 songs on it. If I dropped it, there's a chance my songs would be gone. Book lovers have their favorites. A loaded ereader that breaks is a lot of favorite books gone in the snap of your fingers. Then again...maybe I naturally come slow to this transition. My phone still hangs on the kitchen wall. ;)

Rose

Sarah J. McNeal said...

EBooks are only going to become more popular. The younger generation will not have the same need some of us have about holding a book in our hands. As old as I am, I have to say that I love my ereader. The only books I want in paper is reference books. It's nice to have a back light and the ability to change the size of the font with a button, too.
My 11 year old great niece uses a computer for school and some of her books are ebooks.
Even libraries are beginning to have ebooks on lend.
Ebooks are cheaper as you mentioned and they're a heck of a lot easier to carry on vacation than paper books.
So many people have I-Pads that work as ebook readers and have internet access, too, so they have multipurposes.
I save ebooks on my computer as well as my ebook (I have a Sony and a Kindle Fire HD)so I'm not worried about losing them.
And I'm all for saving the trees so there is an environmental aspect as well.
A very interesting blog.

Jenny Twist said...

I never thought I'd say this, but I now prefer my Kindle to real books. I still love the feel and smell of real books, but I find them awkward to use. I have to peg them open if I want to read 'hands-free' and I can't fit them in my handbag. I agree with everything Sarah says about them and, like her, I don't think they'll replace reference books. I actually got an Italian dictionary as an ebook and it's painfully slow trying to look things up.
Rose, you don't lose any Kindle you've bought on Amazon, they're kept as a back-up on your Kindle account. Any ebook Ive bought elsewhere I back up on my computer.
Great article, Steph.
Love
Jenny
xxx

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Steph,
Great post. I think e-books will go from strength to strength. Like you say instant gratification, and the e-reader devices can accommodate so many books. Good for the environment too. We don't have to cut down so many trees to make paper.

Cheers

Margaret

Fiona McGier said...

Interesting how everyone talks about not cutting down trees (renewable resources) to make paper, but no one cares about the environmental damage being done to mine the precious elements (non-renewable resources) necessary for the new technology with touch screens ruling the market. Entire towns of peoplein third-world countries are being poisoned in the process of getting at the elements.

But what really worries me is the propensity to think of non-corporeal books as being free because they are on the internet. Those with a huge sense of entitlement really believe that authors should write just for the sheer joy of it, and not be such greedy pigs who own yachts and buy luxury goods with the huge profits they make from the gauging prices of their eBooks. Some download pirated books just because they can, with no intention of reading them, and turn around and sell them themselves, with none of the profits going to the authors.

All of these issues are really worrisome. I got an English major in college because reading is my life...and writing was a natural extension of my love affair with words. But the industry is in a major period of flux right now.

Many of the teens I sub for in high schools own all of the new tech toys EXCEPT e-readers. They don't think of reading as fun at all, just something they are forced to to in school, and which they won't ever do again once they don't have to. The few exceptions carry paperbacks with them everywhere, and claim they prefer to hold actual books in their hands. And before you ask what kind of hick-town I live in, I'm in a fairly affluent suburb of Chicago.

I love eBooks...I don't think I would be a published author without them. But there are growing pains going on, and we need to put our two cents into the debate lest laws get passed that remove any possibility of authors ever being able to quit their multiple day-jobs.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Great comments and I appreciate your view, Fiona. Thanks for sharing. I do think ebook readers will continue to grow and improve - but will the younger set want them?

How many of you know younger/young adult readers? Do they do paperback or ebook readers? How many are interested in reading? I'd be interested in developing this topic.

Smiles
Steph