Part Three: Escaping
EBooks represent an E-Scape.
They make it possible for writers—and readers—to circumvent what the 1960s hippies called “the Establishment,” to publish with virtually no financial outlay, and to reach out directly to readers via personal Web sites and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
And it’s win-win!
The eBooks are affordable for the readers. And the writers reap high royalty percentages.
EBooks are helping us all abandon the sinking ship of publishing.
And it is sinking. The book industry is in trouble.
An example in publishing is Dorchester, which, according to former Dorchester author Brian Keene, “saw a 60% decrease in book orders in mid-2009” (Brian Keene, “Boycott Dorchester,” Brian Keene: Official Website, March 24, 2011, (http://www.briankeene.com/?p=6140).
An example in retail is Borders. On February 16, 2011, the chain book retailer announced that it was filing for bankruptcy and closing nearly half of its bookstores (“Ann Arbor Bookstore Chain Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy,” http://annarbor.com/business-review/borders-bankruptcy-ann-arbor-books/ and “Chapter 11 Store Close List,” http://media.bordersstores.com/pdf/Borders_Reorg_Closure_Listupdated3-17.pdf).
These facts and figures suggest a downward trend in reading.
But the opposite is true.
According to a study by the National Endowment for the Arts, “Reading has risen among adult Americans.”
The NEA says reading is on the rise among Whites, African Americans, and Hispanics, and among both men and women. The study continues, “These higher reading rates have expanded . . . readership by 16.6 million—creating the largest reading audience in the history of the [NEA] survey” (NEA, “Reading on the Rise,” http://www.nea.gov/research/Readingonrise.pdf, 1).
So with reading is on the rise, we all have the good fortune to have eBooks to help us escape this rotten, sinking ship of a book industry.
Coming soon: Part Four: We’re All in the Same Lifeboat