Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Print Is Dead

Sorry. But ink is really, truly dead, per Dr. Egon Spengler, shown. The feel of the book, its pages and its look on the shelf is history – counting down its last days until real books with real pages are a thing of the past. Books will become like fine antiques and book owners collectors, not real readers.

Now, peace, my friends. I am a writer and I understand all the ins and outs of what I’m saying here. People love their books, believe me. I know that because I market them on a regular basis. But I also market the perceived enemy of all books – the eBook. Let’s talk.

Let me explain this. No one loves the feel of a book like an author. The chore of writing brings forth its moment of joy – opening the box and seeing your books all new and smelling like ink staring back at you form the wrapping. It’s better than Christmas and opening a new computer –it really is! However, those days of joy are numbered by one thing – cash. Here’s how that works.

eBooks look exactly like the paper versions except for these things: they are virtually FREE to produce in any number and ship and they can be in full color and even feature embedded video! Except for the cover, paper books are only black-and-white (unless you own a bank and have free run of the vault) and they are individually EXPENSIVE to produce, ship, store and return unsold units. Further, the profit margins for paper are zip while the profit margins for eBooks are many times more. And the best thing of all – eBooks cost the consumer a fraction of the price of paper books. eBooks can also be instantly downloaded into your reading device. You can have an eBook collection the size of a mid-sized municipal library downloaded loaded on a storage device the size of a postage stamp. And if you own two SD chips, the size of a large library.