Why Are Ebooks so Popular These Days?

Amazon's Kindle Keyboard e-reader displaying an e-book
Amazon's Kindle Keyboard e-reader displaying an e-book

It’s an undeniable fact, e-books are getting hotter and hotter, with their popularity increasing exponentially each and every year.

According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the ebook market grew at a compound annual rate of 58% between 2002 and 2008, compared to a measly 1.6% for the overall book industry during the same period.

Last year, 28% of U.S adults had read an e-book compared to 23% in 2013. Similar trends are seen all over the world. Digital books are blooming.

But what’s the driving force behind the rise of e-books? Is it just because they are cheaper and easier to produce than traditional books? Or maybe there are other factors that have contributed to their success?

1. Screen technology now rivals paper

Thanks to the recent advances in screen-reading technology, modern tablets and e-reading devices offer an experience that many describe as equal or even sometimes better than classic paper. Even in cell phones, screens are now much better, clear and less “tiring” than just 5 years ago.

2. Software Improvement

It’s not only the hardware that has evolved dramatically in the past decade. The same is true for the e-reading software. Smoother, less laggish, zoom in/out and other features have made e-reading a pleasurable experience.

iLiad e-book reader equipped with an e-paper display visible in sunlight
iLiad e-book reader equipped with an e-paper display visible in sunlight

3. Growth of ebook-ready devices

Today we have more devices capable for e-reading than ever before. Just ten years ago, the only portable option for reading an ebook on the go were laptops and maybe a handful mobile phones. Then came the iphone and everything changed. Now virtually all mobile phones can be used to read a book. Furthermore, we now have tablets, ultrabooks and of course dedicated e-reading devices like kindle. The options are limitless!

4. The power of word-of-mouth

Books have always depended on word-of-mouth marketing. Obviously, the same is true for ebooks. Almost everyone had a wow moment the first time he read an ebook. For me, it was when I borrowed my brother’s Kindle. Soon enough, I had one of my own. And a bit later so did some of my friends. The power of word-of-mouth is simply put, huge!

5. Versatility

Long gone are the days when you had to go to the bookstore or wait for your amazon shipment. Ebooks are versatile. A few clicks here and there, a small payment and the book is in your reader. Today we want everything in an instant world and digital delivery has covered this need perfectly.

6. Freebies

Often, consumers discover ebooks as freebies of a wider service or as part of a digital download pack. In many cases, these free books act as a gateway drug, getting consumers hooked into the digital book world, making them want more and more!

7. Selection was never easier

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of ebooks are now available for download and purchase. And thanks to projects like google books, it won’t be long until each and every last piece of printed work is available in digital format.

8. A library in your pocket

Two decades ago, few would imagine that a pocket-sized device could give access to a virtually limitless number of texts and books! You can literally have a library in your pocket. E-books are just way more flexible. You can take them anywhere you want and you can read as much as your time permits. They are perfect for people who are addicted to reading and want to read books in every chance they can get.

Reading an e-book electronic book on public transit train
Reading an e-book electronic book on public transit train

9. Anyone can be a writer

Writing and selling eBooks online is one of the fastest growing business enterprises. Almost everyone is (or thinks he is) an expert in a field.With no printing or shipping costs involved, it is easier than ever to become an author. Not to mention that you keep most of the profit for yourself.

10. Cheaper prices

When comparing the prices of eBooks with real books, there is almost always a huge difference. Amazon contributed to this a lot, in an effort to accelerate e-reading adoption. The digital format offers readers the option to read their favorite books at greatly reduced prices and this is probably one of the key factors that has tremendously pushed their popularity.

Ebooks are here to stay

With the advancement and improvements made every day in screen technology, cloud services, digital book marketing services and new software coming up, it appears like ebooks are here to stay. Welcome to the era of digital books!

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