Why Children Hold The Key To Your Future As An Author

Child Reads iPad

Every author who cares about their sales should pay close attention to what’s happening with children’s eBook sales, and understand what this means for the future of all books.

According to Digital Book World’s latest report The ABCs of Kids and eBooks’, over half of all U.S. children aged two-to-thirteen are not only reading, but 85% of them are using eReaders, with tablets being the preferred choice.

This is more than double the number of U.S. adults e-reading, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

…If children are the future, then ebooks are the future of the publishing industry.”

Digital Book World report: ‘The ABCs of Kids and eBooks’

Authors Who Insist On ‘Traditional Publishing’ Risk Becoming Invisible

If for one moment you think that when these children become adults they’re going to quit using their shiny, story enhanced eReaders and go back to paper books, think again.  They may be 9 year-olds right now, but in a mere 7 years they’ll be 16 and reading voraciously, and it won’t be traditional paper books.

This is the key point I’m making in this article:- Future adults won’t be reading printed paper books, but will all read using eReader devices.

Furthermore, the price of the reading devices is going to fall precipitously in the next few years.

The Kindle started at $399 then dropped to $199, and can now be acquired for $89.  This process is not going to stop – especially with the number of eReader competitors springing up.  Look for the $19.99 eReader within the next 3 or 4 years.

Think About It:  We Only Read Paper Books Because We’re Trained That Way

Underwood TypewriterWe were all brought up reading traditional paper books, and as adults continue to love the life-long familiarity of this.  We have been trained.   By contrast, the next generation is being brought up with eBooks that contain an Aladdin’s cave of fascinating additional material, even animation, all without spoiling the narrative of the stories they are reading.

So the majority are highly likely to view the paper book as an ancient relic, a charming but irrelevant curiosity, like an Underwood typewriter or a hand illuminated manuscript.

Of course the cry goes up from the current generation of readers: “I’ll never give up paper books! I’ll only ever buy traditional books.”  “What about libraries?” “Every New York apartment owner’s shelves are full of books too, that won’t change.  And what about commuters reading in the subway?”

I love printed books too, and truly wish that could be the case.

But remember these basic economics:  Publishers will only print new books if there are stores to sell them and readers to read them.  They can’t publish if there simply aren’t enough buyers.   Even one-off publishing is under threat.

Consider this:  Would you pay $27 for a book and wait for it to be delivered when you can instantly download it for $3.99?   Maybe you would, but here’s the crucial thing:  The coming eBook generation most definitely will not.

What Can An Author Do In A World Of Disappearing Printed Books?

I’m not predicting the ‘Death Of The Book’.  Au contraire mon frère, the fiction book is very much alive and on the rise.

4 eReadersWhat I am saying is that every author needs to ensure that they future proof their work by having eBook versions available.

Amazon’s eBook system is simple to use, and your books need to be there, even if they’re also printed.  For other distribution channels, Smashwords has the best service, covering most other major digital book markets, including Apple’s iStore.

Even though paper books will be here for a while yet, I’ve started to future proof my own work.  In fact the project I’m working on is designed exclusively for tablets.  (Sorry, no spoilers!)  There’ll be special paper print versions, but they are further back in the queue.

Does the future excite you? Are you planning to publish your work as eBooks?  Or do you still hanker after being published ‘traditionally’?  (You’re not alone…)   Please leave a comment.

Jonathan Gunson

 

Article written by Jonathan Gunson

Author / CEO Bestseller Labs

 

Notice: This article is copyrighted material. Reproduction of brief snippets of this article with a link to this site are permitted, but it may not be reproduced in full anywhere without the written permission of Jonathan Gunson at BestsellerLabs.com

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Comments

  • February 7, 2013 at 7:53am

    Wow, 85% is a pretty serious statistic. I think what we might see is something like the relationship Redbox and Netflix have with regular DVD/Blu-ray sales. People could buy the book cheap on an e-reader, and if they like it, possibly order a print-on-demand copy for their physical collection. I don’t think old fashioned books will ever really die out, but they could definitely become the publishing afterthought that many authors see ebooks as today.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:46am

      Spot on Preston. Print will become ‘speciality’ instead of the norm. ~ Jonathan

      • Heidi_g says:
        February 7, 2013 at 6:31pm

        this is my prediction as well:) I do feel very passionate about this. I was a huge reader as a child myself. After college, etc. I slowed way down. It was the ereader and indie authors who inspired me to start reading again. I am finding wonderful books and reading more than ever these days on my kindle.

  • February 7, 2013 at 7:54am

    Never thought of this, Jonathan, but it certainly makes sense.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 10:36am

      Indeed Kaye. ‘Common sense’ is the word. ~Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 7:55am

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!

    Every writer should read and truly consider what’s written here. E-books are the wave of the future.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 10:32am

      Paul. It’s going to be a total eye opener over the next few years, and in my view, all good. Yes it is sad about traditional print, but just as King Canute couldn’t command the tide to say out, nothing will stop this approaching wave. ~ Jonathan

  • Emeka N. says:
    February 7, 2013 at 8:12am

    Great Post!
    Definitely worth considering in this information age.

  • February 7, 2013 at 8:16am

    A wonderful statistic. Rather like vinyl records, there will still be a place for paper based books but I can see a time, not far off, when digital is the standard and libraries become more digital lending libraries too; after all they have to cater for the masses.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 10:30am

      Peter. I still have vinyl. Doesn’t get much air time these days! We shall watch the gathering change with increasing intrigue. ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 8:18am

    These are new and interesting trends in literacy. However, even more interesting is this: many students prefer textbooks to e-books because the computer apps and programs needed for online study are sometimes out of the student’s budget; they prefer marking their pages, laying their books out and referring to the physical book because they say it’s quicker. On the kids’ book side, here are some fine print details about the e-reading trend (from DBW!). An interesting fact is that parents of younger kids (although they may use e-readers themselves) are keen to continue with physical books because they don’t want their children to miss out on the tactile experience of handlng a real book. They also want to teach their children the value of cherishing a real book.

    The following information comes from the recent Digital Book World Conference on kid literacy and the e-book phenomenon:
    “The latest statistics tell us more kids are reading e-books. But the progress bar has not advanced nearly as far as prognosticators expected or manufacturers hoped. A Bowker executive, addressing a recent Digital Book World conference, reported on findings culled from a survey of about 1,000 teens and some 2,000 parents and caregivers of young children. Among older kids, 19% have tried e-books but only 6% read them with any regularity. As for younger ones, only 25% of parents even own an e-book reader. Among children 7 to 12 only 13% read on e-readers and 11% on tablets.
    Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Though more and more adults are adopting digital reading habits, they are encouraging their kids to read print books and in fact promoting something akin to Luddism, such as sending them to schools where no digital devices are to be found. At bedtime they will put their Nook or Kindle down and go into their child’s bedroom to read a print-book bedtime story. So when it comes to e-books it’s a matter of Do as I say, not as I do. And though picture book apps, including stories that “tell” themselves without parents present, are great fun, they just don’t seem to have the same appeal as the warm body and familiar voice of mommy or daddy.”

    A Scholastic study on reading habits says: “Findings reveal the potential for ebooks to motivate boys, who are more commonly known to be reluctant readers, to read more.
    · One in four boys who has read an ebook says he is now reading more books for fun.
    eBooks may also be the key to transition moderately frequent readers (defined as kids who read one to four days a week) to frequent readers (those who read five to seven days a week).
    · More than half (57%) of moderately frequent readers who have not read an ebook agree they would read more if they had greater access to ebooks.
    Even so, the love of and consistent use of print books is evident among kids, regardless of age.
    · Eighty percent of kids who read ebooks still read books for fun primarily in print.
    · Fifty-eight percent of kids age 9-17 say they will always want to read books printed on paper even though there are ebooks available (a slight decline from 66% in 2010), revealing the digital shift in children’s reading that has begun.
    Schools and libraries do not seem to be tripping over themselves to promote e-reading either. One good reason is that the children’s print business is one of the few sectors of the publishing industry that are thriving, so there is a strong financial incentive for publishers to maintain the p-book status quo.
    But children form their own opinions about e-books and many reject them for very practical reasons. Because mobile phones are the device of choice for teens, the small screen size and short battery life are deterrents to e-reading. The price of e-readers is prohibitive for many kids, who get along fine with borrowing books from the library or from each other. And speaking of borrowing, DRM restrictions on sharing e-books is another dampening factor for teens, just as it is for adults.”

    So, don’t say goodbye to print books for kids … yet!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:41am

      Fiona

      An extremely well informed comment about the current situation thank you.

      I agree re the importance of the irreplaceable warmth of Mom and Dad reading to kids. But in my view the eWorld will probably make that even more possible, as the field matures and grows up. I’ve written and illustrated many children’s books and know too well how loved they can be – all tattered and adored like a favorite teddy bear. And the idea of a ‘real’ paper book being cherished of course goes to follow, a deeply loved old friend whom we absolutely don’t want to leave us that we can keep using if we want to.

      But that is quite beside the main point of this article. I’m not talking about what children are doing in 2013 as you describe, but what will happen 7-10 years from now – i.e. The ADULT fiction they’ll be reading not children’s books. Most of that reading will be on eReaders of some type, and at level of human warmth, connection and sophistication we cannot yet envisage.

      By then the world will also be a quite different place. From a technical perspective, an example of a similar shift over time, who would have predicted the immense popularity of the iPad? It was viewed with almost universal scepticsm when first introduced. This process of evolvement will continue. 10 years from now, devices will have advanced far beyond where they are now, battery technologies will last for months if not years, and prices for devices will have dropped precipitously, putting them in the hands of everyone, everywhere.

      I’m wide eyed at what is to come!

      ~ Jonathan

      • Heidi_g says:
        February 7, 2013 at 6:39pm

        Sorry, I keep replying:) I do feel very passionate about this and I believe anecdotal evidence is very powerful, too.
        A little over a year ago, it was hard to find a book blogger who’d review a digital book, now many reviewers–who read massive amounts–prefer digital copies for sheer convenience.
        Also, as Jonathan mentioned in another article, Goodreads.com membership doubled from 6.5 million members to 13 million members in 2013. I personally believe this explosion is due to the ereader and not to print books, sorry! I joined Goodreads in 2011. I have watched the shift. Now many groups have ereader threads, discussing ereader functionality and the ereaders they like best, i.e. Kindle vs. Nook vs. Kobo. Not only children, but avid readers are choosing ebooks.
        Finally, Barnes and Nobles has announced plans to close 1/3 of its stores over the next decade. I have already seen so many book stores close. Change always brings loss, as it ushers in the new.

        What I REALLY love about readers: IT BRINGS IT RIGHT DOWN TO THE STORY:) plus they are GREEN!

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          February 7, 2013 at 8:21pm

          Heidi
          Reply as often as you like. Clearly you can see where it’s all going. One point you made on which we completely concur: The author’s day is here, and the focus is increasingly on that, not some cumbersome ‘publishing and distribution’ process.
          Quoting you “What I REALLY love about readers: IT BRINGS IT RIGHT DOWN TO THE STORY:)”
          Amen to that.
          ~ Jonathan

        • February 7, 2013 at 9:04pm

          It’s been years in the making but now eReaders are finally becoming more and more popular. Personally I have waited years for this point in time to happen, having predicted it in the late 80s as something that would happen. It’s the only way I would even consider self-publishing my novels. (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/junevollans)

          People who as little as a few months ago would not consider an eReader are now enjoying their books on them. Even my 88 year old mother wants one. A personal example is my brother-in-law. It isn’t that many years ago that he called their first computer (a desktop) a “glorified boat anchor”. He got over that when he saw what he could do with it. His wife got her first eReader recently (a Kobo) and he has now absconded it to take it to work. He works away 6 weeks at a time and is an avid reader. Where he used to have to try to pack along a few books, when he left this time, he patted his shirt pocket where the Kobo was and said “I have 250 books in my pocket!”.

          That’s the thing with eReaders. You can carry a huge library in your pocket and it’s easy to read wherever you are. I love my iPad and have it loaded with books so that I can read while waiting… for doctors, for the car, etc.

          I don’t think that physical books will completely go by the wayside, but I see eReaders quickly becoming the choice of the average person. And young people are so used to using electronic devices to do pretty much everything that I have no doubt that the trend toward eBooks will only continue to increase.

          • Jonathan Gunson says:
            February 7, 2013 at 9:28pm

            June
            I don’t see physical books going completely by the wayside either. Especially children’s books – that will take far longer, partly because parents are so protective of colored picture books printed on paper. And in some ways this is a good thing for the generations to have common ground. However, children have a way of getting what they want, and I suspect even the brightly colored paper books will gradually disappear. By contrast I have no doubt that genre and pulp fiction will not be seen much in print within just a few years. But beautifully produced books will become ‘special’ as collectibles.
            ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 8:28am

    Great Post Jonathan,

    I agree. In fact we will find that people and children in general will read more ebooks than if they could only by paper books. As an old fart I read about 2 ebooks per week and have not finished a paper book in the last year.

    It would be great if you could do a post on the best way to develop and create ebooks for kids.

    Geof

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 10:38am

      Geof.
      Sounds like you’re well ahead of the curve on this. And yes I’ll definitely be posting in the coming months about creating books for children.
      ~ Jonathan

  • AdrijusG says:
    February 7, 2013 at 8:34am

    Are you making Media Rich(audio, video) ebook Jonathan? That would be cool!

    I think Print books will stay like collectible items too, limited editions, signed,etc.. It does have value for me personally. :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:44am

      Adrijus. Yes rich media is in the works just as you guess and describe. The print side too is also as you describe (are you psychic?) with special collectibles and the like. ~ Jonathan

      • AdrijusG says:
        February 7, 2013 at 1:45pm

        Yes I am, don’t tell anybody! haha

        I think that’s the next frontier for ebooks – actually becoming more than text, what we have now is just scratch of surface. When tablets actually become foldable (like paper! again!) and we can watch/hear our ebooks, that will be super cool. How far away is that I don’t know but I’d guess media rich ebooks will become often in 2-3 years. We can see preview of this in iPad magazines now. Those will be first to spread, then ebooks.

        Another benefit of it, prices will go up for ebooks and maybe we will see the same prices as we see for paperbacks now. I’m guessing but I totally would understand paying more for such ebook.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          February 7, 2013 at 9:00pm

          Adrijus.
          We’re as twins on this.
          But one thing to watch out for is that any additional ‘effects’ don’t interfere with the narrative. ‘Reading’ is pure thing at the moment evolved over centuries and requires simple code (story as text) to switch on the mind’s eye. I hope this survives – my feeling is that it will, because apart from any other reason, adding unique effects to simple text is an expensive process.
          ~Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 9:11am

    This is just obvious common sense. Thank you for pointing it out to me! Sometimes the obvious hits us quite unexpectedly :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 10:42am

      Kerry.
      Future proofing is common sense. There are many who will cling even more tightly to the past. But can’t blame them – we all love traditional print books. This is tremendously exciting time to be an author, and it’s going to get even better. ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 11:40am

    Jonathan, thanks for this post! I’m a new (fairly unknown for now) writer finishing up my memoir and preparing book proposal and 90 second pitch for WD’s East Conference. My goal had been to land an agent. I agree with the future of eBooks but also believe we need to reach the I’m-not-ditching-my-paper-books audience, too. Do I need/want traditional publisher for both versions or am I better off creating eBooks myself?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 11:53am

      Linda.
      Agents are still extremely valuable. Plus the ‘traditional’ business will be alive and well for quite some years yet. So if you can get a trad publisher then great. But I would not expect too much in the way of promotion.
      The way to go re eBooks is to retain your rights and exploit them yourself. The publishers might want them to add $ to their income, but it’s not deserved really because they can’t add anything much in that department – there’s no printing or distribution involved. But Traditional still has its advantages… if you can get it, and it’s done properly with promotional activity.
      Also see these two related articles:
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/why-your-amazon-kindle-book-will-be-far-bigger-than-you-imagine/
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/if-printed-books-die-can-you-still-get-a-publisher/

      ~ Jonathan

      • February 7, 2013 at 12:06pm

        Thank you Jonathan. Your advice makes a lot of sense and I look forward to reading related articles.

  • February 7, 2013 at 12:09pm

    Jonathan,

    I think you’re spot on. I believe dead wood books will only be relevant for special
    editions that “deserve” the format, think gorgeous picture books / art & design coffee table books etc.
    You’ll be buying a physical version of the book as a souvenir,
    not as a means for simply consuming the work.

    I’ll start focusing on mostly digital editions now, and leave out the print editions for a while.

    Question : Do you think people will eventually switch completely over to interactive stories with images / animation etc. or do you think there will be always a place for “plain”, written-word narrative ?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:10pm

      Mars
      There’ll always be a place for plain text no matter how devices evolve.

      Why I think this is the case

      1. Adding unique special effects will always cost, so the author’s words alone will remain the baseline / majority standard. (Yes!) My expectation is that authors will be able to buy ‘canned’ effects to add to their books, but since everyone will jump on that bandwagon readers will grow tired of them. (Only unique effects will add anything and be useful.)
      2. The STORY is always central anyway, plus there are increasing numbers of readers, not fewer. So the majority will want to continue to just read the story text and let imagination fill the spaces.
      3. Any special effects or ‘additional’ rich media material such as annotations, video and animation will be optional (toggle on / off like ‘booktrack’ does)

      ~ Jonathan

      • February 8, 2013 at 7:14am

        Interesting answer – I think you’re right. I read a lot of online surveys about stories about where story telling will go, and a lot of them claim that readers want more interaction (sort of like a book / video game mix), but I was never completely sold on that. Not only will it be more expensive to produce, but it will also mean more work for the reader if they have to interact with it. And some peeps (most ?) will just prefer the read of any intensive game-like experience.

        Thanx for taking the time to answer this. I can’t wait till you reveal your project(s).

  • Fiona C McAndrew says:
    February 7, 2013 at 12:20pm

    Hi Jonathan,
    I enjoyed reading your post very much.
    I’m a mother of a 6 year old and nearly every child in my daughters class received either a tablet or kindle this Christmas. Mine didn’t, as I have one I allow her to use every now and again. My daughters ability to use this piece of equipment far out shines my own. She found the music and games within seconds. Children are very tech savvy from an early age nowadays. I do however agree with the other Fiona. I read to my little one every night, she is still of an age where she very much enjoys this experience. and visual images are still important to her to help follow the story. I can hear others cry , this all can be achieved by using an e-book reader. I agree, I also agree with the other comments. Books will be a beautiful collectible in the future and teaching our children to cherish them is very important.

    Another example of how times are changing faster than most of us can keep up with, is where i recently befriended a children’s author on Twitter. After buying and reading her paperback book to my little girl. My little one took the book to school and the teacher read it to the class. I wrote to the author and told her how much the children and teacher enjoyed her book. The author came back with an invitation to chat online with staff and children. The school declined the invitation. They wanted the author to put pen to paper and the children to do the same. This example showed me that already teaching staff are having concerns regarding our younger children’s ability to write via the traditional method. Primary school children and younger are given access to technology long before paperback books and pens. This is the current media trend and young trendy parents will pass this on to their own little ones. Our current secondary school children didn’t have this in their primary school years that’s why they are not as apt.

    As a mother of one of these tech savvy people of our future I believe what you have said is right. In the next ten years instead of seeing our children’s tattered little reading books in their book bag we will probably be sending them to school with some kind of device like you mentioned above, where teaching staff will be downloading the full set of books required by the curriculum on to the children’s own equipment. let’s face it, it would be more economically viable for schools than having to replace the paperbacks, especially with early years (sticky fingers and adventures with felt tip pens).

    I’m a very new writer and yes I was one of those people who hankered very much for a traditional publishing deal. The more i stayed online and researched, the more I slowly let the idea slip away. Not because i wouldn’t love to have my book traditionally published, who wouldn’t . But because the more I learned about the industry the more i came round in a full circle as to why i started writing in the first place. I write for me, I write because i love it, I write because I’m enjoying the learning experiences, I write to maybe pass what i have written to my children. I like the network of on line friends I have made who also who share the same passion.
    A cousin of mine recently self published. When I asked him about his writing experiences he told me gets up at 4.30 am to write before he goes to work, this is so his writing doesn’t infringe on spending time with his young family. He said he doesn’t know why he does it one thing is for certain it ain’t for the money. #Passion

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 9:17pm

      Fiona
      Almost a guest post! And your timing is uncanny. Next week I’ll have an article about a massively famous writer and it focusses on what you’ve alluded to here – allow me to quote you:

      “…the more I learned about the industry the more I came round in a full circle as to why I started writing in the first place. I write for me, I write because I love it, I write because I’m enjoying the learning experiences, I write to maybe pass what I have written to my children…” Post out next week – with a video. You’ll be amazed at how prophetic your words are.

      Quite aside from that, it’s gratifying to hear that your children’s teachers are so protective of them when it comes to learning traditional writing skills. The lines between learning / reading / writing are blurred because they’re almost one and the same thing – different facets of the same diamond. My view is that this and the technologies will grow together, not further apart.

      I’m fiercely supportive of maintaining an active approach in education, where children use their imagination, and everything isn’t just done for them while they passively consume with sound and moving image – that is simply a movie. We want them as readers for our books in later years!

      Thanks again for your very interesting and heartfelt contribution.

      ~ Jonathan

      • Fiona C McAndrew says:
        February 11, 2013 at 3:04pm

        Thank you very much for replying Jonathon. I was so humbled by you reply, I hope you don’t mind but I shared the post on to my personal facebook account, which comprises mostly of close family and friends. 99% of them are working class parents, who are also consumers. I believe this post would give a useful insight in to how our children’s reading habits are changing and also an insight into the thoughts of children’s authors regarding having their work recognised by parents in a digital era.

        I know by what I have seen in your BestsellerLabs it is for those within the writing community but this post I felt reached out very much to not just to the writer but to the parent too. Those who have a keen interest in their children’s reading ability. I felt the post and comments left, created a very down to earth, positive and informative approach to children’s reading. Which is why I felt compelled to share.

        I’m looking forward very much to your famous writer’s post and video coming up.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          February 11, 2013 at 8:24pm

          Fiona
          My current project involves children’s apps for the iPad – and other magical devices. It will be some time before they appear. Delighted that you’ve shared this post with friends.
          ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 12:33pm

    Hi Jonathan,
    My American publisher, Publerati, has a two-fold task. They act as an e-Publisher, therefore my books are all available on every kind of reader and through all eBook outlets, including, as of yesterday, eSentral in Malaysia. The ease and speed of publishing, deployment, downloading and storage give the eBook so many advantages over the traditional print format.

    And yet I, like many others, love the feel, the smell and the pure ownership of a hardback, or even softback. For that reason, Publerati also acts as my agent for traditional publishing. Their philosophy is to create and sow the seeds with the eBook so that should they and the author see it as appropriate they can negotiate a traditional publishing contract with a 3rd party.

    Your point about kids and the age they start using eReaders is fascinating and surprising. The downside is that most kids don’t have the facility to go to Amazon, or any other internet site and buy with a credit card. It’s therefore very parent-dependent.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 10:32pm

      Richard
      The key point is about what will happen when kids will become adult readers. Their training will be in eBooks. So that is what they will buy. Very interesting to hear of your success with Publerati.
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 12:45pm

    Thanks for a great article – something I hadn’t considered

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      March 3, 2013 at 4:57am

      You’re welcome Shirley
      ~Jonathan

  • Jeanie says:
    February 7, 2013 at 12:47pm

    I’m saving my enormous collection of print books, especially the first editions, for that future you speak of. They may bring in a pretty penny. Still believe the distribution of Smashwords and others is awesome. Just need a geek to upload and a publicist to publicize.

  • February 7, 2013 at 2:04pm

    This was an excellent article for me to read this morning as I’ve been considering next steps for my next novel release.

    Now you have me thinking about children’s books.

    What’s a fiction writer to do?

    Maybe it’s time for a teen series. My stories are too mischievous for kids.

    Thanks again for the article!!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:50pm

      Nathan
      This article is about how children will read adult books in later years, not really about children’s books in 2013. Regarding what to write: Teen books? YA? With the word ‘mischievious’ I feel you may already have your answer.
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 2:26pm

    Hello Jonathan,
    As I told you before, I already have two ebooks on Amazon, The Twilight People, a fantasy fiction book for 15 and 16 year – olds and By Land By Sea, a political thriller for adults.
    I had great expectations for the teenager’s book and I even managed to coax the editor of a popular magaine, that sells all over the world to take four books for a competition giveaway. But I coudn’t get anybody else for to review it. You don’t the old saying, it pays to advertise but enough is enough. As I mentioned to you before, the problem is in advertising the books and my next book almost completed, is about my journeys through three hospitals, and all that entailed, to beat cancer three times. I will do my unmost to present this book to a traditional publisher as advertising is the thing and this is very expensive that I’ve given up on this.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:39pm

      Patrick. I hope you find a publisher who will help you. This is never an easy journey. ~ Jonathan PS. Do you have an agent? Check here how to write a query letter: http://www.WriteaGreatQuery.com and here for agents http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/new-agency-alerts
      ~ Jonathan

    • February 8, 2013 at 4:21am

      Thanks for your reply Jonathan:
      I have a publisher in mind here in Ireland, they accept unsolicited manuscripts. If they accept it, they tell you the strengths and weaknesses and help you the best they can. A girl herself – published a book and put it on Amazon herself and when published seen that she had 21,000 followers on Facebook they signed her up. As you said Jonathan, publishers like the writer to do some publicity as well as them. Do you know that Penguin books accept unsolicited submissions, although mine publishes just twenty books a year, here’s hoping mate, I’ll let you know how I managed, thanks again, if I fail I will put it on Amazon as a last resort.

  • February 7, 2013 at 3:00pm

    Great post. Very interesting. I heartily agree! :D

  • February 7, 2013 at 4:02pm

    Spot on, Jonathan. As an author/publisher of children’s book apps, I see the little ones (as young a one) become very adept with mobile devices. More so than even their parents. It’s truly their world. I call them Gen-Appers.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:30pm

      ‘Gen-appers’. You may have just coined a meme Chris. Let’s watch it fly. The point of the article (which you obviously ‘get’) is that little ones grow and the app habit will grow with them, the ‘paper’ habit less so. ~ Jonathan

  • Will Hahn says:
    February 7, 2013 at 4:51pm

    Great analysis Jon.

    My only problem- I write about guys with two-handed swords and monsters with seven eyes, magic spells, entire worlds at risk. The idea that the gorgeous angel you show in the picture will ever be interested in something I write? Not so much!

    But there have to be a few kids out there with dirt on their clothes and scars on their arms they don’t yet realize they have…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:27pm

      Will
      This article is of course about when the ‘gorgeous angel’ you mention grows up. But even than your seven eyed monsters may not be her first port of call! But ehe little boy just out of the picture will also grow up – and he will be reading your genre fiction, and on an eReader.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Heidi_g says:
    February 7, 2013 at 6:29pm

    My husband and I have had IT (Information Technology) careers, although my husband is MUCH more proficient than me in all things in that arena. He’s been telling me this for a while and yes, those kids are not going to return to print, just as the generation before did not return to vinyl. Where are those eight track tapes????? Anyway…another great article Jonathan. One thing we can count on, the world will never stop changing:)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:24pm

      Heidi. Replied to your other ‘passionate’ comment. And yes your husband is right on the money with his predictions, and the parallels with vinyl. ~ Jonathan

      • Heidi_g says:
        February 8, 2013 at 5:59am

        thanks for your patience! as you can see this is a subject i feel very strongly about. I really believe reading and being literate sets people free in so many ways, the printing press brought humanity the first wave of enlightenment, i wouldn’t be surprised if ereaders ushers in the next…peace on earth, finally, we’ll all be reading good reads, lol

  • February 7, 2013 at 6:50pm

    I agree with you that kids are engaging with ebooks, particular with the ubiquitous availability (at least in the U.S.) of tablet devices like the iPad and Android tablets. I have two concerns moving forward and would love some advice.

    It appears that the most successful ebooks geared to younger children are interactive in some way, such as being able to manually manipulate images (drag and drop) or request an additional media that relates to the story (e.g., video or audio). This makes me wonder if, as the children grow older, they will continue to expect even higher levels of engagement in future stories.

    My questions are: 1) What might that higher level of engagement look like? and 2) How will it be implemented and at what cost?

    It seems that already there is a huge divide between those who understand even basic formatting for text-based ebook delivery. (Big publishing is not one of those groups who understand yet). The availability of talent who understand rich, interactive media formatting is even smaller and thus more costly.

    Do you, or anyone else, have a crystal ball projection as to how/when this transformation to rich media will become either affordable or end-user tools will be made available so that the average person can implement it on their own?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 10:17pm

      Maggie. You have two extremely interesting questions :

      1) What will the children’s expectations be of books when they are adults? (Re. Interactivity in genre fiction.)

      In ‘text only’ eBooks I can see readers demanding that any added information in the form of music and background data such as video has the option to be switched off so that it does not interfere with the story narrative or the magic of the words as written. In fact I’m sure that readers will demand this, because the act of reading a text book is a specific form of entertainment that’s quite different from interacting with rich media – such as touch screen activated animation. Readers of text switch on the mind’s eye to fill in the sounds and imagery, not have it all fed to them. There’s been a considerable backlash against such tricks already.

      See ‘Booktrack – music and effects as you read‘.
      (The sound tracks can be toggled on / off.)

      And here’s some flaming media reaction to Booktracks: “Booktrack: Just A Horrible Idea. Really Horrible” http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/04/booktrack-just-a-horrible-idea-really-horrible/

      2.) The most successful children’s books are interactive. How to keep up without it costing a fortune? The big problem with integrating interactive rich media in books is – as you say- the expense.

      I expect what will happen over the coming period is that user-friendly tools will become available at very low cost allowing any writer to add such content to books. However, the biggest challenge with such ubiquitous tools is that all interactive books may start to feel ‘samey’ with the same old ‘canned’ effects and tricks stuck on. Go no further than book trailers at the moment. Anyone can do them, to a certain level, so now they all look exactly the same and have no interest or impact. (See this article about the brilliant Rebecca Skloot trailer: http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-best-book-trailer-ive-seen-in-years )

      In light of that, new cheap tools will certainly mean that the authors can stay up with the play, but a real point of difference that brings a sales advantage is in the creative use of those tools, and you can’t buy that. (Well actually you can, but only at great cost as you wistfully point out.)

      Fortunately there is a ‘way out of hell’! It comes back to the skill of the creator, not the technologies. This is also where the author wins. A great STORY will tend to transcend most of these difficulties.

      ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 6:51pm

    Great post. I’d honestly never thought about it that way. There are many things I love solely because they remind me of my childhood (noodle soup, cringing Mexican comedies, ancient songs my grandma listened to).
    I can see “retro” tablets coming out in 2030 to feed the nostalgia of the new young professionals.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:18pm

      “Retro tablets”. Intriguing thought Oscar. Hadn’t occurred to me – new tech wrapped up as old. There’s always a sector of the market wants this. Great idea. ~ Jonathan

  • liane says:
    February 7, 2013 at 7:54pm

    Exciting. Makes life so much easier and takes away obstacles like running out of physical stock.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:14pm

      Exactly so Liane – and saves trees too. ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 8:03pm

    My soon-to-be-published project is enhanced for Kindle and iPad; I’m embracing the future! People consume in so many different ways now (often simultaneously) and authors need to keep up…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 8:13pm

      Standing by for the new novel James. Interested to know what the Kindle / iPad ‘enhancements’ will be. ~ Jonathan

  • Hazel Eggleton says:
    February 7, 2013 at 8:45pm

    Thanks for the article Jonathan – very encouraging for me as I am about to have my first children’s e-book published this summer. It will not be printed initially so I was wondering how many kids owned kindles and would buy it. It will be interesting to see. I’m not quite sure how to reach children on the internet to promote my book – no doubt I’ll find out. I enjoy all your posts – they are really helpful – so keep them coming!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 9:52pm

      Hazel, the way to reach the chidren for your books is via the Moms of course. Discover where they gather online and join the party. Try to avoid directly pushing ‘here’s my book!’ but chat with and help many instead. I assume since this is a Kindle book it’s text only. YA?
      ~ Jonathan

  • Erich Penhoff says:
    February 7, 2013 at 10:31pm

    This is absolutely true, advancement in electronics and their early introduction to children will reap great benefits to all writers. But we do have to ask ourself will this e-book phenomenon be replaced by a newer version. Remember the computer from 1990 and look now. The individual reader will dispose of many of his books by replacing his e-reader.
    Will anyone really aquire a Library of books? I look at at the wall in my study, what I see are many classics, no kindle or i-pad can ever relace them. Will the Printed Volumes completely disappear, never. Will the illustrated book be as effective on a e-reader to the childrens children, not likely. If you read War and Peace on Kindle does it have the same impact? I cant imagine it would. So lets not bury the paperprint yet, not in our lifetime at least.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 11:55pm

      Erich
      The current generation of eReaders will of course be replaced by something even better and be available to buy at minimal cost. Re Picture books: Sales of illustrated / picture books on an eReader are tripling each year, and fast catching the sales of printed. In fact, in my own work I’m continuing with the printed version of my children’s ‘books’, but the apps are now the main event. Within the lifetime of the child in the picture above, there will still be printed versions as well, but only if the price is low enough.

      But will the main printed genre fiction volumes disappear? Yes, sorry most likely they will – at least in the Western democracies, and probably in large parts of Asia. But for new books, it won’t be up to whether you keep buying them, but whether there will any bookstores to sell them or publishers to print them. Of course there’s print on demand, but that is very expensive and still has to compete with eBooks. As I said in the article, will that child in the photograph, when she’s grown up and able to buy books, pay $27 for a physical book she has to wait for? Or pay $3.99 for an instant download? Take a wild guess.

      By contrast, special books as created by for example the Folio Society are collectors books, and are likely to be here permanently. But genre fiction and pulp fiction is unlikely to survive.

      ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 11:08pm

    Thanks, Jonathan,
    I’ve been considering a series of nature books where the animal has the viewpoint. They don’t speak, mind you, and of course don’t have real thoughts, but they “do” watch the world around them. I already have one short story that could become an ebook almost overnight, and I think just right for the 2-13 age group; thanks to your newsletter today I’ve decided to do it. I’ll let you know what happens.
    Thanks again!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 11:20pm

      Very enterprising James. Do leave comments here as you progress. Interested. ~ Jonathan

  • February 8, 2013 at 1:12am

    Yes, the future excites me! Heck, right now excites me to pieces! Back when I graduated from high school, I wanted to do exactly what I am doing now: writing, blogging, doing book reviews, editing. In short, working as a writer and building a career as a writer. But back in 1979, it was a whole different world than now. I am excited by all the possibilities available to writers now.

    And I love this article because you say what I’ve been saying – ebooks are the future of books. Paper books are not the future. Paper anything is not the future. I so agree with all that you say.

    Great article! Thanks for writing it.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 8, 2013 at 1:25am

      We are twins on this Jacqueline, and we get to save trees too.
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 8, 2013 at 5:58am

    I can’t agree more! I have been traditionally published for over 30 years. But my publisher started doing less and less publicity. If I have to do that myself anyway, then why settle for a mere pittance of a percentage as royalties, and be hamstrung by a publisher with their head in the sand not wanting to accept the digital age is upon them?

    So I got all my rights back, created my own ebooks, launched them a few months ago on Amazon and feel like I am finally not only in control of my own destiny but moving along the leading edge of the electronic age as I should be. I find it extremely exciting, rewarding and so much better for readers.

    The interesting thing is that my best seller that I wrote over 30 years ago was out of print and the publishers did not want to renew their rights to it, they thought it was done, dead in the water. I launched a new ebook edition just months ago and its one of my best sellers – so much for dead in the water! It’s now available for a whole new generation of readers to discover, and so it should be!

    My own daughters were loathe to read my print books, but much more excited about downloading ebooks and recommending them to their friends. When some of my books go free on Amazon they send out tons of emails and tell their friends who tell their friends – because they are mostly ALL reading electronic material, not printed books anymore.

    As for the children today, of course they will grow up with the digital age and a print book will be a museum piece ….. they are our future audience and we have to get with the times or wither. I also believe that everyone will read more with the ebook revolution – ebooks are more easily accessible, they are cheaper so readers can afford to try out new authors and they tend to buy more books this way – I think that’s great.

    Because reading widely is one of the ways we connect with other worlds, people, cultures etc – its how we explore different ideas and then learn to express ourselves in writing or verbally – so as a society I think we become better educated, more tolerant, more open and so there is a ripple effect that is very positive.

    As you can see I am an ebook fan :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 8, 2013 at 6:14am

      Anthony

      What a burst of shining optimism. Your experience mirrors that of an older friend of mine now in his 70′s who just regained all the rights to his 5 police procedurals from the 1980s. All based on one central character. What a goldmine… and he never knew. Like you he thought their day was done, with the books dead and buried. Now he’s back in the mix. Very exciting.

      I see from your site as a child you liked Hammond Innes - ‘The Land God Gave To Cain’, and John Buchan … amongst others. I count ‘The 39 Steps’ as the seminal tome of my childhood. I read it again recently and it creaks somewhat now, but still a great read.

      Appreciate you stopping by and sharing your story.

      ~ Jonathan

  • February 8, 2013 at 1:22pm

    Being a new author, I plan to publish in eBook format. My first book is in print as well, but I’m not certain whether the next one I do will be. Do you have any advice there? Should I have both versions or just the eBook version? Thank you for your input.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 8, 2013 at 10:39pm

      Kassandra – see reply to Holly just below – applies to your situation too. ~ Jonathan

  • February 8, 2013 at 7:50pm

    Love the points you make Jonathan. We need to be in all formats to meet the preferences of our prospective audience. Foremost is the e-book. I’ve had mine in e and paper and now my publisher and I are moving into audio books.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 8, 2013 at 10:38pm

      Holly
      You have sharp insights re this. Currently it’s wise to be in all formats. The physical book market is still huge. And the audio book market is growing massively. Congratulations on progress so far.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Erica says:
    February 9, 2013 at 4:01pm

    Wow, thanks for this! It doesn’t surprise me at all. As a fourth grade teacher, I intentionally tried to have a lot of their readings on a wiki or found online, as it is just the life they are growing up in. As an aspiring author, I have been on the fence of what to do because as a teacher I saw how kids were reading, yet as an adult the traditional route is what you are “supposed” to do. Thank you for the kick in the pants :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 9, 2013 at 10:22pm

      Erica
      The right decision is to release an e-version of your book irrespective. But if you can attract a traditional deal AS WELL, or as a result of the eBook becoming popular, then do that too. This post refers to a time 7 -10 years from now. At the moment, physical is still a major force. So don’t count it out just yet.

      However I wouldn’t hold onto the hope that a large existing New York Publisher will do a major promotion for you, although, contrary to reports you may have heard, many still do the proper basics. i.e. Distribute a few thousand copies to stores, distribute press releases, and connect with their contacts in the media for coverage. But it’s fading – bit by bit.

      Finally, DO hold onto your eBook rights – unless they fund full promotion, the trad publisher doesn’t really contribute to that any further, other than editing and uploading.

      Also see article re getting a publisher in a world of disappearing paper books: http://bestsellerlabs.com/if-printed-books-die-can-you-still-get-a-publisher/

      ~Jonathan

  • February 9, 2013 at 8:17pm

    Thanks for this. Been planning eBook projects for a while — as part of the multi-platform mix of content I produce on ContentEngine.tv

    And I observe the behaviors of my own children — where tablets and iPhones are simply intuitive extensions of themselves.

    As Content Creators, we all need embrace the paradigm shift.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 9, 2013 at 10:33pm

      Seth.
      In support of your views re ‘tablets becoming intuitive extensions of children’, here’s a well-known video of a baby using an iPad that vividly demonstrates this http://youtu.be/aXV-yaFmQNk

      And this one … another baby competently using an iPad http://youtu.be/MGMsT4qNA-c

      Books and magazines made of immobile paper are a ‘fail’ for digital natives.

      ~ Jonathan

  • February 10, 2013 at 6:50pm

    Thank you for this. I think what is very important in this matter is reading, either by using an electronic support or a piece of paper.To keep reading a pleasure for children should be the highest priority for authors and parents.The real threat for nowadays children and coming generation is reading aversion. Actually I didn’t publish anything yet, but for sure my coming stories will be e-book .

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 10, 2013 at 11:17pm

      Adam. ‘Keep them reading’ – one way or another. Absolutely agree. ~ Jonathan

  • February 13, 2013 at 10:03pm

    My novels are published first as ebooks, then as paperbacks, all by Taylor Street Publishing in San Francisco. I’m an avid Kindle user; when I can lug around 400 books in my shoulder bag and have to add a second apartment to house 400 paper volumes, the choice is a simple one to make. Thanks for the article.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 14, 2013 at 7:30am

      George. Good man, we’re on the same page – as it were. PS. San Fran is one of only three places I’d ever live permanently. Go there repeatedly. I always take the same hotel by Chinatown.
      ~Jonathan

  • [...] Recent surveys have shown that children are reading more and engaging with digital devices. [...]

  • February 14, 2013 at 6:03pm

    [...] future of publishing? E-books are exploding in India, riding the tablet boom. In America, kids are being raised (and therefore trained) to read on e-reader rather than paper—and therefore will grow into adults who read on e-devices rather than buy paper books. All this [...]

  • [...] Why Children Hold The Key To Your Future As An Author by Jonathan Gunson [...]

  • [...] on the Bestseller Labs blog, I found this post about how kids hold the future of publishing in their little hands, and this [...]

  • February 16, 2013 at 4:53pm

    While I’m all for ebooks and new generations of kids being so tech-savvy, I have to wonder if print books went away, what would happen to the pop-up books I loved so much as a child. Those were my favorite kind of books.

    I read an article once about kids in (I want to say China but can’t remember) being such heavy computer users that they were developing a higher rate of myopic vision problems as a result. I wonder how a tablet would be different. Perhaps its ability to be moved around so that focus can be altered solves that problem.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 16, 2013 at 9:57pm

      Bree. I suspect that pop-up books may survive – they are a special case. Not quite as ubiquitous maybe but still around.
      ~Jonathan

  • Daniel K Munroe says:
    February 18, 2013 at 9:41am

    Hi Jonathan,

    Well said.

    As much as I love my 800 paper books, I’m watching the world change. And adjusting my writing goals to suit.

    DKM

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 18, 2013 at 10:42am

      Daniel
      Today saw a small boy – 7 years old, reading a ‘Boy Vs Beast’ fantasy world paperback. Very simple stories based on an online game of the same name. He wasn’t reading it on an iPad or a Kindle, As I say, he was reading it as a paperback, and had avidly collected them all.
      There’s life in them thar books for a while yet.
      ~Jonathan

  • February 18, 2013 at 7:04pm

    Exciting world we live in. Of all the debates and discussions surrounding this subject, one that is rarely commented on is the issue of what constitutes a safe amount of media/screen time for our young ones. With the advent of more and more ebook and app options, screen time safety becomes an increasing issue. Who else ponders the effects screen time has on child development?

    Personally, I think educators, librarians, parents, authors, would be intrigued by the effects of how information is delivered to our children. The American Academy of Pediatrics is still warning parents to monitor the hours spent viewing a screen (ebook included.) In 1999, the AAP recommended no screen time for children under 2 and very limited exposure for older toddlers. They have since modified their statement something akin to a media diet, although their original data findings remain the same. The debate is still out on the effect screen time has on brain development and eye development (due to pixel gyration, emf and light emission) and social interaction, etc.

    As a picture book author of both print version and ebook, I’m all for finding new and exciting ways to encourage children to read. Recent ereader advancements are indeed astounding. But, with techno advancements comes the responsibility for thorough indy research, ESPECIALLY when it concerns the healthy development of our children.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 18, 2013 at 7:54pm

      Carmela

      A serious point.

      We all have this underlying uneasiness re technology and our children – partly for the reason you mention. Another concern is how animations and other trickery can divert children away from the narrative, so it becomes more like watching a movie passively, with no imaginative visualization of the story as the child reads.

      Fortunately, ‘reading’ is such a massively different experience to movies, it’s likely that those ill-considered distractions will not distract as much as we fear. In the apps I’m developing currently, all enhancements, including animations and special effects, are designed to lead children back to reading the text.

      This article however is not about children, but about the technology they will use as adults. With regard to eReaders, we can see what they’re like now, but in 10 years? They may closely resemble the paper surface of a book which is what the Kindle ‘paper white’ is currently attempting to do, and after 10 more years of development be no more threatening to a child than a paper book is today. But we shall see. It’s a looming battle between e-ink and LCD. (Kindle Versus iPad.)

      Your concerns are registered, and valued.

      ~Jonathan

      • February 18, 2013 at 9:35pm

        Thanks for your reply. Sorry if I got off topic. The jury is still out on the child development safety issue. And depending on how that goes, it could influence the future outcome of ebooks to some degree.

        But, to comment on your questions in big bold red letters that I missed the first read through, I’m always optimistic for the future! I hope my books continue to be published in print version, although, I’m not opposed to good quality ebook versions, especially as technology makes safer advances. (There was no choice with Amazon, as they convert books to Kindle without permission from publisher or author.)

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          February 18, 2013 at 9:47pm

          Carmela
          No worries. Your comment was spot on in fact.
          By the way, I don’t think Amazon ever convert books to Kindle versions without publisher and author permission. That would shatter too many enforceable contracts, including copyright. (Apart from books in the public domain of course.)
          ~Jonathan

          • February 18, 2013 at 11:45pm

            Hmmmm well that’s interesting about Amazon. Someone gave permission then, and it wasn’t me! I’ll look into it further. Thanks!!

  • Duncan Faber says:
    February 20, 2013 at 6:09am

    Jonathan, you’re right on the money! But it’s not just ebooks. It’s also audio books. My kids download them for free at http://www.twirlygirlshop.com/stories-for-kids. I don’t even have to help them do it. It’s the other way around. LOL!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 20, 2013 at 7:05am

      Duncan
      Such is the way of the world. Kids ‘show us the way’. Every new expression I hear is always from a ‘Tweenie’. Like… totally.
      ~Jonathan

  • Linda says:
    February 21, 2013 at 3:07pm

    So much truth in this article. My eighteen-year-old only wants to read print books. My thirteen-year-old only wants to read e-books. And, yes, she hates waiting for a book to come in the mail. My two-year-old nephew has already started reading e-books. When he is older, I doubt print books will interest him much.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      March 1, 2013 at 2:06am

      Living proof Linda. It’s coming in like a wave. I’ve only recently acquired an iPad from which I’m now inseparable. BTW. I see you’ve contributed to ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’. Congratulations – quite a large feather in your cap.
      ~Jonathan

  • Jeff says:
    March 8, 2013 at 1:14am

    I think another point to this is what it means in the future. With that many children and early teens reading, many of them will carry over into late teen and adult hood. This means over the next ten years, the future of book reading will be dramatically changed, even more than it has in the last ten years. It also means more development into stylistic e-books, to buck the ordinary. All of which are good things for both the readers and writers.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      March 8, 2013 at 3:28am

      Jeff.
      Absolutely. In fact that’s the main point of the article.
      “…If for one moment you think that when these children become adults they’re going to quit using their shiny, story enhanced eReaders and go back to paper books, think again. They may be 9 year-olds right now, but in a mere 7 years they’ll be 16 and reading voraciously, and it won’t be traditional paper books. This is the key point I’m making in this article:- Future adults won’t be reading printed paper books, but will read using eReader devices…”.

      ~Jonathan

  • April 11, 2014 at 6:03am

    We first converted our printed books to e-books. The results have been somewhat disappointing but we’re still glad we did it because we do see some sales. Then we converted our books to audiobooks. We’re actually getting much more traction and more sales for our audiobooks than our e-books. We haven’t gotten our e-books into the Apple store, however. And we’re still clinging to print. So now, we’re offering pretty much all our titles in all formats.
    We would really like to see our e-books selling more. We have a children’s book that is an e-book, THE CANTALOUPE CAT. It’s very encouraging what you wrote about the huge increase in children reading e-books. I think you are probably right about younger people growing up with e-books and just expecting it. Print books will become more for specialty books and coffee table books.

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