- People want info that's more current even than possible in an e-book. Most authors do not continually update their books. And even if an author does, if today he's updating page 300, page 1 may not be current enough.
- People want information in shorter bites: distillations like Top 10 lists.
- They expect it free: either as an article or, alas, a pirated book.
- An ever larger percentage of books sold are used, which means no royalty for the author. So, except for famous people, who can still expect to get lucrative book deals, writers who need or want to make money from books are less likely to write them.
- Book distribution is unwieldy. Certainly, traditional distribution is obsolete: print thousands of copies, store them in a warehouse, get a salesperson to flog chain buyers (forget about tiny-ordering independent bookstores) and when they don't sell, the books get shipped back to the warehouse. And, if you expect to make money selling your books, print-on-demand is too expensive. CreateSpace is probably best for creating a book but as long as Apple and Amazon keep fighting, the CreateSpace distribution network isn't wide enough.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Here's why I believe the era of the book, especially the how-to/self-help book, even in e-book format, is dying faster even than most people think: