According to recent data from Forrester Research, e-book sales in the United States have jumped 183 per cent from this time last year. Amazon's e-books have been dominating those sales. The company announced in June that for every 143 Kindle books purchased in the previous three months, only 100 ink-and-paper hardcovers were sold.
There is going to be resistance to Amazon invading Canada and offering up digital products for far less than axtual feel in your hands products, much like, oh I don't know; Mail in envelopes, or looking through a library for answers when you can frame the question in google and get a more relevant response. You can store a library of books or you can store a kindle.
Readers might say that in Canada not enough trees are sacrificed to the domestic publishing industries, to make a difference, but if our forests are supplying the globe then we do have a problem.
Our publishing houses and book stores suck up Canadian tax dollars to exist in a world they couldn't exist in without the welfare support.
After looting our public coffers for so long, these companies should learn to stand on their own two feet. Go digital and anticipate the swell of business on the internet.
Chapters which is the Starbucks of book stores appeals to the fake snobbery of the middle class, but the middle class has been sabotaged by the current economic crisis. Books cost a ridculous ammount when they are sold at Chapters and Indigo. The added cost is the added perk of sipping lattes in your Chapters' Starbucks or browzing the aisles of. It is transparent that these perceived high-end stores try to make purchasing books an experience. Go to Indigo or Chapters and view the glossy over-priced best sellers, head to the bargain bin and pay too much for over-priced bargains.
The true book-lover would go to a small locally-owned book store if they were concerned about the survival of Canadian busineeses, because small independent book stores have had a tough go of it and it isn't getting any easier. Bullied by large chains, the local guy or girl is only hanging on. But soon the big box store book stores will feel the same pain.
I am sure Chapters will adapt, in fact they are adapting by going online. No more inventory woes.
Digital sales are a boon to writers, because their work is more easily accessible, and can be shipped online for nothing to customers. Customers don't have to pay any shipping for books. The brick and mortar costs don't impact digital sales. The kindle has dropped hundreds of dollars in price, and that is a huge benfit to the marketing of the digital world. Movies books, music and art work can all be sold at a fraction of the cost of those products that you can feel in your hand. I am as romantic about books as the next guy or gal, the smell of a new book, the anticipation of opening the first page, the relationship that you form with this source of connected imagination. But books will be easier and easier to acccess. Blockbuster is an example of a bricks and mortar business foundering and slashing prices as they try to compete against cheaper digital products. When you can minmize overhead, you can sell your product for cheaper than the other guy and there fore make more money. When the government gives money to certain companies or individuals, then other companies and individuals are not getting access to that money. Bring on the free market. No matter how hard the horse and buggy crowd tried to delay the implementation of the automobile, no matter how hard, adults resisted the juvenile appeal of social networking sites, no matter how much Canadian companies and individuals resist the kindle and Amazon, they are going to lose unless they rapidly develop another business model, and for writers, being digital can solve our own moral guilt about contributing to the destruction of the world we love.
More people will buy books than ever before because they are cheaper and more easily accessible and isn't that what all writers want. The middle men, the publishers and book sellers may not be so happy, but writers will see more and more of their work sold. There are other digital perks for writers like selling ads on their own websites and marketing their work digitally, with the vast ammount of free marketing opportunities that exist on the web.
The coming of the Kindle to Canada only helps to hasten the restructuring of our world as we know it, making works of literary art more accessible and more affordable then ever before
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