Print vs Ebook

BooksIt always fascinates me how hard people want to argue about things that haven’t happened.  They may not remember where they left their keys, their spouse’s phone number or what their partner likes on their pizza, but if they have anything to do with publishing they have an opinion on print vs ebooks.

Recently, the Huffington Post published a story about a recent Los Angeles School District order of 31,000 iPads.  The plan is to eventually buy iPads for all 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.  The cost?  The first year alone, the cost is $30 million.  Methinks their school board has never seen a back pack go sailing down the side walk only to be kicked again and again and again.  Yep.  I hope they got breakage warranties as part of this deal.  

But what cracks me up is that people are holding this up as PROOF that print books are on their way out.  The print sky is falling!

Then a PEW study reveals that teens and young adults (ages 16-29) may be more tech savvy than older adults but they are also more likely to have read a print book in the last year (75% as compared to 64%).  That said, these same teens and young adults are also more likely to make use of a library’s computers and databases of various kinds but don’t want books cleared out to make room for more techno-gadgets.

What does all of this mean?  It means that information is found in more formats than ever before.   Will e-books replace print books?  I doubt it seriously.  Recorded music has not replaced live music.  But there will be change.  I don’t know exactly what it will be, but I’m going to shake my head and smile whenever someone seems to certain that they know.

Take a deep breath, quit speculating and go write.  Then find a market for your work although it may not be the one that you expect.