Trends

Ned Ryerson and the Startled Rodent

Much has been discussed about the growth (or shrinking) of digital book content delivery. I figured today was the perfect day to put in my two cents.

Here is what happened in the last few years, explaining why digital sales have slowed, as told through a little story I conjured up.

Avid book reader Barbara got up early one morning, made coffee and sat down to read with her e-reader. She noticed there was a special on eBooks, so she bought one she liked and added two more eBooks for free, happily loading all three so she could read them eventually.

 The next morning, avid book reader Barb, got up, made coffee, sat down with her e-reader and her steaming cup of joe and noticed because she bought a book yesterday, she could get three books for free, she happily loaded them on her e-reader. She would read them…eventually.

 The next morning, avid book reader Barb, got up, made coffee, sat down with her e-reader and her steaming cup of joe and noticed she could get three books for free, she happily loaded them on her e-reader. She would read them…eventually.

 The next morning, avid book reader Barb, got up, made coffee, sat down with her e-reader and her steaming cup of joe and noticed she could get three books for free, she happily loaded them on her e-reader. She would read them…eventually.

 The next morning, avid book reader Barb, got up, made coffee, sat down with her e-reader and her steaming cup of joe and noticed she could get three books for free, she happily loaded them on her e-reader. She would read them…eventually.

 The next morning, avid book reader Barb, got up, made coffee, sat down with her e-reader and her steaming cup of joe and noticed she could get three books for free, she happily loaded them on her e-reader. She would read them…eventually.

 The next morning, avid book reader Barb, got up, made coffee, sat down with her e-reader and her steaming cup of joe and noticed she could get three books for free, she happily loaded them on her e-reader. She would read them…eventually.

 The next morning, avid book reader Barb, got up, made coffee, sat down with her e-reader and her steaming cup of joe and noticed she could get three books for free, she happily loaded them on her e-reader. She would read them…eventually.

The print-loving world screamed with joy, “See, no one wants eBooks. We win!”

Authors and publishers pushed out so many books for cheap and free that e-readers are saturated, at least for a time. And sales of the various e-reader devices have flattened out because, frankly, not everyone can afford to buy one. Money doesn’t grow on trees you know.

Once we all get comfortable reading books on our smart phones like the other seven billion people in the world, digital will grow again.

Happy Groundhog Day.

 

 

Leave a Comment

Bring the Books (What Steve Laube is Looking For)

“Bring the books, especially the parchments,” is a sentence in 2 Timothy 4:13 that has teased readers for 2,000 years. What books did the Apostle Paul want to read while waiting for trial? Theology? History? How-to? (Maybe a little escape reading? Pun intended.)

Another writer chimed in a while ago by saying “Of making many books there is no end.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12) And if we read the statistics he wasn’t kidding. 300,000+ published in the United States alone last year.

And yet there is an allure to the stories of great novelists and a fascination in the brilliance of deep thinkers. It is what drew me to the book industry in the first place having been a lifelong reader and a burgeoning collector of my own library.

I can safely say that the allure and fascination remains unabated. I’ve had and continue to have the honor and privilege of working with some of the finest minds and talented writers in our industry. The photo above is from my office showing every book represented by our agency. Hundreds of amazing books by amazing authors.

Meanwhile I am still searching for the next great story, the next great concept, the next great writer. So, to answer the question, “What are you looking for?” I will attempt to clarify a few things.

Read More

Five Things that Changed the Publishing World

Over the past twenty-five years ago there have been five things that changed the landscape of the publishing industry forever (the first three below happened in 1995). Amazon.com Dan Balow wrote an excellent piece on this earlier this year. It still is quite astounding when you think about it. In …

Read More

Ten Most Popular Works of Christian Fiction

I like reading lists of great books in hopes of discovering one I had missed or had not considered reading before. About ten days ago Josh Katzowitz had an article on Newmax listing the top ten most popular Christian novels of all time. Click through to see his comments on …

Read More

Not Going My Way?

In case you haven’t noticed, things in the world are generally not going the Christian-way in politics, law, education, business, marriage, religion…or anything else. Evil seems to winning all around us. American Christians who once thought of themselves as the “moral majority” are now the “imperfect minority.” We thought we …

Read More

Tell Us All the Gossip!

Sometimes writers hear wild, wild gossip about the industry. Sometimes that gossip is true. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is halfway true. As your agent, I want to hear it! You might say, “Wait a minute! Aren’t you a Christian agent? Doesn’t the Bible say not to gossip?” Yes. …

Read More

Meet Your Reader

Every year a report or article appears in the media that show how the youth of our world don’t know very much. They are not speaking of ignorance as in stupidity, but in “not knowing” things simply because they have no first hand experience. Beloit College in Wisconsin has a running …

Read More

Does Anybody Read Books Anymore?

This past Thursday the Barna Group released the results of their survey called “The State of Books and Reading in a Digital World.” Feel free to click through to read the report yourself. Meanwhile there are a few observations of my own. Confirms What We Already Know About Gender For …

Read More

“Close your eyes dear, I have a surprise for you.”

One hundred years ago this week, Cecil Chubb of Great Britain decided to give his wife a really great gift. He bought her a bunch of big rocks at auction for £6,600 (equal to US$10,500 in 1915 and about US$250,000 today). Mrs. Chubb was certainly surprised with the thoughtful gift. But …

Read More