The children who have been born into a world that they wouldn’t recognize without technology like smartphones and laptops – also known as Gen Z – are growing into the next generation of high schoolers, now, and, let’s face it, digital publishing is growing more mainstream just as they grow older. But does that make it more successful than traditional publishing? Does a developing general popularity surpass older numbers? If not, will it in the near future? The traditional book still has yet to disappear, and many consider eBooks and digital publishing to simply be a fad that will die out in the coming years. I suspect that this is due to the different publication processes and success rates in tradition and digital publishing.
In the United States alone, the year 2017 produced 40bn~ USD in revenue for the book industry, and that number is expected to rise in coming years. The eBook market makes much less, as, of course, eBooks are cheaper than paper copies, and their numbers are predicted to go down, creating a negative correlation between the two industries.
Experts believe that younger generations are the reason for their predicted fall of the eBook; they seem to be pushing for more print books.
The ease to success and the value of success are completely different when it comes to the book and the eBook. It’s pretty easy to publish an eBook, and it’s fast. But there are hazards that come with speed. Unlike the process of publishing a paper book, there is often not a team involved. Anybody can submit an eBook for publication, any time, and they don’t need to go through rounds of editing, but that lack of editing makes for lower quality content, and, therefore, a smaller audience and a less successful eBook overall.
In traditional publishing, nothing gets released without undergoing rigorous processes of revision with a professional, licensed team and company. Not to mention, holding a paper copy of your own book has got to be the most validating feeling in the world.
Of course there are pros and cons to each method of publication, and popularity of both types fluctuates as the years go by, but it’s really up to the author. Some platforms are better for certain content than others, and maybe some people don’t want to be full time authors, people who just happen to have written something that they want the world to see. It may seem obvious which platform would be better for that person, but, ultimately, it’s up to them.
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Cain, Sian. “Ebook sales continue to fall as younger generations drive appetite for print.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Mar. 2017
Changde News. “Book Publishing Industry Revenue in The United States from 2011 to 2020 (in Billion U.S. Dollars).” Statista
Friedman, Jane. “How to Publish an Ebook: Resources for Authors.” Jane Friedman, 6 Nov. 2017
“Pros And Cons Of Traditional Publishing vs Self-Publishing.” The Creative Penn, 19 Oct. 2017