The eBook Gold Rush

Reading & Writing

Here’s something unexpected. A bunch of unlikely books like ‘Confessions of a GP’ and thrillers by mid-range author Stephen Leather have suddenly topped the charts in the UK, some without any publicity at all. Why? The low-priced Kindle is being given as a Christmas gift, and people are quickly chucking some titles onto it for seasonal reading, so they’re picking the titles that are cheap.

Publishers should have seen that one coming. Although no-one is releasing any figures, sales haven’t been good for eReaders in the UK partly because content has been so awkwardly divided between different devices. Said one publishing insider, ‘We’re in real danger of following the music industry here, who acted too late to sort out digital rights and lost out to endemic piracy.’

Having opened my luggage to find my Sony eReader broken, I’ve now succumbed to the butt-ugly but easy-to-use basic Kindle. Reviews for the Kindle Touch and Fire have been lousy, but there’s nothing else out there so light and portable. For me it will only ever be a back-up device to supplement books now – I’m over the hype, and among my friends I remain the sole user of such a device.

We’ll see if that changes after Christmas.

2 comments on “The eBook Gold Rush”

  1. Adam says:

    Kindle publishing is great for part-time writers like me. No set up costs, decent royalties, wide audience (with a bit of effort in publicity) and full content control. Works really well in the music industry, can’t see any problems with it working in the book world.
    Merry Christmas to all!

  2. Dan Terrell says:

    Interesting comment, Adam. I’m considering using Kindle publishing as an avenue, as I am also a part-time writer and I’m just got back into it after a long time away. Gave my wife a Kindle Fire for Christmas. She’s been using it daily and enjoying it a lot. In fact, I’d like to get it into my hands for a while, so I can see kinds of writing have gone straight to digital publication and how they’re doing.

Comments are closed.