A tongue-in-cheek article I discovered today Product Review: Will 'Paper' Replace E_readers starts
We were given some review samples of a new technology called ‘paper’ earlier this week. Paper is a natural material that can be produced in bulk, relatively cheap, and some people think it will replace e-readers such as the iPad and Kindle.
There has been considerable publicity given to headlines like E-book sales surge at Amazon, with e-book sales first of all outstripping hard-cover books in the middle of last year, and, in the last quarter of 2010, outstripping paperback sales.
For every 100 paperbacks the company shifted, it sold 115 Kindle books.
We've also had a lot of publicity about the demise of a number of book stores, particularly specialist ones.
From where I stand though, I don't see made-from-paper books disappearing anytime soon, despite a growth in sales of e-readers in the last 9 months. In considering the Amazon statistics, it occurs to me that while I go to Amazon to purchase my e-books, I don't go there to buy either hardbacks or paperbacks. I get them at my local bookstore.
New research on UK eReader sales, from the Publishers Association. We already know that 2010 eBook sales accounted for just 0.4% of the UK book market. So what changed at Christmas? The Publishers Association polled 2,000 people recently, and found that 7% of British adults had some kind of eReader (smartphone, iPad or ereader) for Christmas. source
There can be no doubt though that e-books are making their mark in the US, doubling from January 2010 to January 2011
I'm not sure that we are seeing the same here in Australia.
Trevor Cairney who blogs at Just in Case lists some good reasons why the book will survive.
He also lists some changes we will probably see in the publishing industry.
- Scientific journals will cease to be produced in paper form within 5-10 years.
- Increasingly, authors will publish e-books themselves, creating major problems for publishers and even bookshops.
- Bookshops will only survive if they change to become places where lovers of books meet, chat, eat, share books (in whatever form) and purchase e-books and paper books as well as associated products. Some are already moving down this path.
The remainder in the list are worth checking.