In our Digital World, Paperbacks still outsell e-Books

So which version do you prefer to read, paperback or e-book version of your latest novel? We are not sure of your choice, but it might come as a surprise to those reading this article, but for most people, they still prefer old school print on paper to e-books.

Publishers of books include trade and educational books, as well as fiction, in all formats made almost $26 billion in revenue last year in the U.S., with print making up $22.6 billion and e-books taking $2.04 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers’ annual report 2019.

While digital media has disrupted or taken over many other industries such as news and magazine publishing and the music business, people still love to own physical books for a few reasons.

First, experts feel that for most readers, the physical book itself is very appealing almost soothing for the reader making them connect with the author and the story. The second reason is more about the reader themselves. Most paperbacks have amazing thoughtfully designed covers that are as much a work of art as the stories inside. Plus most book lovers like to display what they’ve read so these well designed covers allows book lovers to record what they’ve read and let others know by decorating with them as part of their reading collection or personal library in their homes or offices.

How you read a book may also have something to do with the types of books that you like to read. People who read nature and cook books tend to prefer paperbacks and it goes without saying that children’s books are mostly purchased in the paperback version, while people who prefer to read crime, romantic novels and thrillers are more likely to indulge in the e-book version rather than paperback, according to Nielsen Book International.

While millennials are sometimes blamed for the downfall of many industries, it’s actually the opposite for the book industry, as younger people who appear to be popularizing print. In the U.S., 75 percent of people aged 18 to 29 claimed to have read a physical book in 2017, which is much higher than the national average of 67 percent, according to Pew Research.

As for the future of books, we are very confident that all formats used in the industry will continue to be in demand as people naturally have a thirst for knowledge and are always in need of good stories for their entertainment. So regardless of the format you prefer, paperback or e-book the key to this industry is that you continue to enjoy reading.

by Greg Rodman