Has Digital’s Tipping Point Finally Arrived?

digital formatsThis month, Amazon.com announced that it had sold more Kindle books than print books marking a first in site’s successful book sales history. As you may know, the bookseller began selling books in 1995 and in 2007 introduced its e-reading device, Kindle, on a gamble that e-Books might become popular at some point.

By July 2010, Amazon reported that Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales and, six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Amazon.com. Together, Kindle titles now outsells all print books, including hardcover and paperback combined.

What’s driving e-Books Anyway?

Reason #1: Easier to purchase. Businesses and consumers want to reach out and acquire information when they need it. It’s a whole lot easier to go online and purchase an e-Book than to get into your automobile and drive to a bookstore.

Reason #2: e-Books don’t chop down trees. As everyone becomes more ecologically minded, saving our precious resources becomes more important. It’s nice to hold a book in your hand, but it’s also nice to hold a Kindle or iPad in your hand and read a book! [This is about perceptions, despite the pro-paper sustainability argument and e-waste concerns.]

Reason #3: It’s easier to keep an e-Book with you. If you’re an avid reader you might have one to five books you are currently in the process of reading. e-Books allow you to “carry” them with you without the bulk that printed books bring.

Reason #4: You can make digital notes and bookmark them. It’s very nice to be able to highlight a passage or make a note in an e-Book knowing that you can always go back and review your highlights and notes quickly and easily. With printed books, dog-earing has long been a way to mark the spot of favorite passages, but it does impact the book’s appearance. Not so with e-Books.

Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.
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  • GraphicVillage

    My mother-in-law likes the ability to make the text bigger… while my kids love the ability to click on any word and look it up in Wikipedia or Wiktionary, saves a ton of time on homework!