Saturday, February 26, 2011

Five Signs That E-Books are Here To Stay

According to a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, there are five signs that e-books are “here to stay”. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll see most of these signs have already been covered in some of my older posts. The five signs are:

1.  Amazon sells more e-books than paperback or hard cover books.
2.  The New York Times will add e-book bestseller lists.
3.  The establishment of the KindleLendingClub, which matches lenders with borrowers, allowing people to share their books.
4.  E-reader ownership tripled last year.
5.  Google’s in the game.

As a writer, the key sign for me is #4. Last November and December, e-readers were repeatedly touted as the top gift idea for the holidays. Amazon had their highest e-book sales day on Christmas day of 2010. As I watch the news on e-books come through my newsfeed (along the left side of this blog), I notice more articles about library systems taking on e-books to lend and about school systems buying e-readers to eliminate the need for expensive and heavy textbooks.  This means not only will more adults have e-readers in the future, but also more children.

Last night I met a 9-year old boy who had a i-Pad given to him by his grandmother as a combo birthday/Christmas gift. I’ve had parents ask me about the advisability of buying an e-reader for children as young as 7 years old. And it’s clear that the gadget-factor of e-readers has caused in increase in reading among children, even among reluctant readers. Most parents would love to see their children read more. After all, “Readers are leaders!”

While young adult books have been hot in the e-book format, I believe middle grade fiction is the next market to benefit, and that’s the age I write for. I want to be ready with at least one e-book available on Amazon by Black Friday of this year. I’m convinced that even more people will have e-readers on their Christmas list, and even more parents will be purchasing them for their children. Will you be ready?