From the BBC:
Digital technology has certainly had a profound effect on the traditional book publishing and retailing industries, but has it also given the book a new lease of life?
At one point it looked as if the rise of e-books at knock-down prices and e-readers like Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook posed an existential threat to book publishers and sellers.
“Literature found itself at war with the internet,” as Jim Hinks, digital editor of Comma Press, succinctly puts it.
But contrary to expectations, the printed book is still surviving alongside its upstart e-book cousin, and technology is helping publishers and retailers reach new audiences and find new ways to tell stories.
. . . .
In the UK, roughly £1.7bn was spent on print books last year, compared with £393m on e-books, says Nielsen Book Research’s Scott Morton. The digital newcomers’ share of the market seems to have settled at about 30%.
On the high street, Waterstones saw physical book sales grow 5% over the Christmas period compared with the year before, while Foyles saw sales rise 8.1%.
The era of the printed book, it would seem, is far from over. But a lot depends on the sector you’re looking at.
Adult fiction – particularly romantic and erotic – has migrated strongly to the e-book, whereas cookery and religious books still do well in print, as do books with illustrations. All for fairly obvious reasons.
. . . .
London-based tech start-up Bookindy is using technology to encourage people back to struggling local bookshops.
It does this with a Chrome browser plug-in – each time you search Amazon for a book, a window pops up saying how much it would cost at your nearest independent bookseller.
Founder William Cookson, who describes himself as “just an average sort of book reader”, says his creation took just three days to code.
It helped that he could tap in to an existing network of 350 independent British bookshops called Hive, which enables retailers to check stock and fulfil orders.
Link to the rest at BBC and thanks to Bruce for the tip.