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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

2011 - the year of the eBook

8 million Kindles sold last year and more and more publishers are stating that their digital sales are booming. Bloomsbury for instance, the company, which publishes the Harry Potter series of books, said that in the US fiction e-book sales are now estimated to account for around 15% of total sales. This was highlighted by the success of the 2010 Man Booker Prize winner - 42% of US sales of Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question were electronic. And Amazon recently made the claims that they are selling more eBooks than not only hardbacks, but paperbacks as well. In fact Amazon founder, Jeff Bazos claims there are 6 Kindles sold for every 10 physical books.

Some of the reasons that eBooks have been so successful are:
  • they are more affordable
  • they are more portable. You can always have a book with you.
  • they are more varied. Lots of new and exciting authors are publishing books they wouldn’t have been able to using the traditional model.
  • more people are inspired to read by this 21st century approach to what’s been around since the 15th century’s Gutenberg Press
And perhaps most important of all they are giving a platform for authors to take control of their own work. Take Joe Konrath for instance - whilst he may have started out in traditional publishing he is doing even better self publishing his own eBooks and recently became one of Amazon's top selling authors in the Kindle store. How does he do it? Take a look at his website HERE .

Later this year I will take a dip into the self publishing to eBook when I publish, Riding The Western Trail, an anthology of Jack Martin westerns. The book will feature several short stories which have been published elsewhere and an all new, novella. And I know that several of my contemporaries are planning to self publish to eBook. That's not to say we will turn from our traditional publishers - far from it and I hope Jack Martin is long featured in the Black Horse range, but the option of eBooks allows for us to publishing works that may not sit comfortable on the conventional lists, be this because of length, theme or whatever.

So will 2011 be another boom year for eBooks? The answer to that question is, this early in the year, already obvious, and is a most definite, YES.

A Policeman's Lot (left) was actually my first excursion into eBooks - published by Solstice Publishing it is still available for the Kindle as well as all other formats. It's an historical thriller that uses the Jack the Ripper mystery as its theme and even offers up an all new theory as to the perpetrator.

 "A Policeman's Lot is an entertaining story that brings together one of the last icons of the American West, a look at British police work while the force was still in its infancy, and one of the most widely known murder cases in history. I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy historical crime fiction and police procedurals." From Mack Captures Crime

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