ALONG WITH A TEAM of third level students from the Limerick Institute of Technology, I listened to editor Eoin Purcell describe how electronic publishing is disrupting the print industry. I brought my Kindle to the table and listened.
Just before Christmas, I learned how Random House, the USA's largest publisher, was getting 20% of its U.S. revenue from digital sales. Every week Amazon tells me about another author who reached the million mark in Kindle e-book sales. In the middle of January, six of the top 20 titles on USA Today's Best-Selling Books list were e-books. Barnes and Noble looks to its Nook to strengthen the weakening bottom line of its traditional outlets. This is a watershed year for e-books and we're teaching students how to create for this emergent market.
Tina Jordan of the Association of American Publishers says that a best-selling title from a branded author can run upwards of 30% to 40% in digital sales. That's interesting for me as I look around and encounter students who want to have many choices in reading formats and ease of buying. Anecdotally, I see a migration by students away from hard covers and into e-books whose pages they can print on demand. At home, I watch my four-year-old daughter read from memory the iPad stories that can read to her when the audio is turned on.
It's important to meet the young generation with reading material where they are and many of these youngest school children are where their screens are. I think young people want an option to carry around digital content, being able to tap into pages, annotate notes and share content as they drill deeply into 30,000 words of content. That's how I see digital pages developing. To see how accurate I am, I'm pushing this blog post into 2017 and comparing it to how my nine-year-old daughter will be reading her short stories then.
The most-shared "epub" item on Delicious is http://code.google.com/p/sigil/