Tag Archives: e-readers

What Do Readers Care About?

What do book readers care about?When book readers consider our book, few will bother to look to see who published it. They won’t care if a major publisher, let alone any traditional publisher, produced it. When it comes to publishers, there is little brand loyalty, let alone much brand recognition. The imprint is of no consequence. How the printed book gets into their hands or the e-book gets into their reader doesn’t matter to them.

Here’s what does matter:

Book Readers Care about the Cover

What they will look at is the cover. They will, in fact, judge our book by its cover. First impressions matter a great deal.

Book Readers Care about the Title

The title is critical, too. Depending on how they discovered our book, whether they see the title first or the cover first, the other element will seal the deal—or not. If the cover is great but the title, lame, they will dismiss it. Similarly, if they see the title first, a great cover will move them towards a purchase, while a bad cover will move them to a different book.

Book Readers Care about the Formatting

Next, they will look at the insides, whether thumbing through the actual pages or clicking online. If the layout looks “normal,” they will proceed. If it looks odd—even though they won’t know why—a red flag pops up.

Book Readers Care about the Content

If our book passes these first three screens, they may actually read a section or two. Great writing beckons them; bad writing or editing—even average writing or editing—sends them packing.

Only when they get this far will they consider buying it.

What is your experience when buying a book? What do you care about? Click To Tweet

Readers don’t care if our book is traditionally published or self-published; they care if our book is professional looking, well written, and interesting.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

Half of Avid Book Readers Prefer Print

Readers who purchase many books each year evenly divide on print versus digital

Half of Avid Book Readers Prefer PrintIn 2012, Book Business magazine, reporting on a Verso Advertising study, noted that 49.7 percent of avid readers refuse to go paperless. They define avid book readers as those who purchase more than ten books per year. Notice they use the word purchase and don’t say those who read ten or more books. I certainly read more than ten books annually, but I’m not sure if I buy ten.

Perhaps even more significant, this is an increase from 40 percent in 2009. Does this signal a digital backlash among power readers?

Interestingly, only 2.1 percent of regular readers oppose using e-readers.

So while many readers embrace going paperless, the avid readers — those who account for most of the books bought — are evenly divided on this issue. Deciding to publish only in e-book format effectively eliminates half of the most dedicated book buyers from purchasing your book.

But that was then. What about now?

I searched for studies that are more current and couldn’t find any that parallel this one. Okay, I spent a couple minutes looking. There must be some out there – somewhere.

What I do know is that I hear less hype and less enthusiasm for e-books now than I did four years ago. From a personal reader perspective, I currently read more printed books than e-books, whereas four years ago I did the opposite. As a book buyer, however, my preference has always been towards purchasing print books; I have never bought many e-books.My purchasing preference has always been towards print books; I have never bought many e-books. Click To Tweet

Of course my personal perceptions mean little when it comes to formulating a publishing strategy, but I think it is safe to say, don’t ignore print.

Do you know of any recent studies on this topic? What is your personal experience on reading and buying books? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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What is the Ultimate Reading Device?

What is the Ultimate Reading Device?There’s the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad, and various smartphones. Which one is the ultimate reader? Which one will rise to the top, replace its competitors, and survive as the reader of choice? Which one will endure long into the future?

The answer is: None of them!

What is the ultimate reader, you ask?

Quite simply, it is the printed word.

With a hard copy you don’t need to worry about software compatibility, device obsolescence, battery power consumption, damage when it’s dropped, someone electronically recalling your book, and so forth.

A printed book has none of these concerns. You can read a book anytime, anywhere. It is truly the ultimate reader.

Although e-readers have their place and do offer benefits, I do not see them replacing printed books as many have predicted. The two will co-exist, side-by-side for the foreseeable future.

Even so, the ultimate reader will continue to be the printed word.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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Amazon’s New Tablet, The Kindle Fire

There is a buzz today about Amazon’s new Kindle Fire, a tablet intended to compete with Apple’s iPad. I first heard the announcement on the radio this morning while munching my breakfast — and I have already received three press releases about it.

Apple reportedly sells 7 out of every 10 tablets, with more than one competitive product left floundering — or having drowned — in its wake. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is competitively required to protect Amazon’s Kindle-loyal readers and all the books that they consume. Karl Volkman, of Chicago-based SRV Network, Inc., notes that Amazon’s foray may be successful because:

  • The Kindle Fire costs far less than Apple’s iPad 2.
  • The Kindle Fire will run a revved up version of Google’s Android software, an operating system that has given Mac’s iOS software a run for its money on smart-phones.
  • Kindle’s existing momentum as a more popular alternative for reading books than the iPad.

What does this mean? There is now one more device for publishers to work with and more more device for people to consider, with the e-reader/tablet market becoming more congested before it becomes clearer. The result is that publishers — and consumers — who pick the wrong device will be left with old hardware they can’t use and books that they can’t read. (How many audio cassettes, video disks, and VHS video tapes do you have laying around?)

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!