Dollars and Sense
In a recent article for Barron's online, author John Steele Bordon wrote about the impact on digital readers and journalism in an article titled "Journalism's Next Revolution."
In the article he states the following: "The iPad signals the long-awaited end of the era of cutting down trees, turning them into paper, printing words on it, distributing it across a vast country and then recycling it or throwing it into landfills the next day." Although a significant amount of the article uses the iPad as an example, the focus of the article is the impact of the digital printing revolution on the newspaper.
The nook also offers subscriptions to twenty newspapers and about a dozen magazines. The newspaper selection was much richer than the magazine list. The point here is that the nook along with other digital readers is embracing the capability of portable, ecological reading of news.
I've discussed this movement to digital publishing in two previous articles (see the label "independent publishing" in the left sidebar for more):
- Movers and Shakers in the Digital Self-publishing World: an excellent article from the Wall Street Journal
- Self-publishing: trends for authors, agents, online sites, and traditional publishers (Edgar Wideman, QueryTracker, authonomy, and Lulu and Amazon)
Let's take a book like Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
- Price from the public library = free (especially if you ride your bike there)
- Price from Abe Books (used), hardback and shipping = 1.00 + 2.77 = 3.77
- New paperback at Amazon = 9.99 (new hardback prices = Abe's)
- Barnes and Noble: PB = 8.99; HB = 194.40 (no used books)
- Barnes and Noble ebook = 6.49 (same $ Kindle ebook at Amazon)
For me, the real savings, both environmental and personal, come from acquiring free classics in ebook format:
- ManyBooks.net: "There are 27,877 eBooks available here and they're all free!"
- Free ebooks by Project Gutenberg: "Project Gutenberg is the place where you can download over 33,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android or other portable device."
- I'm sure there are many other sources of free or inexpensive books. As an example, Smashwords has about two thousand free books. I've just downloaded one to the nook directly, without having to convert it (using the ePub format.)
I think of all the trees, gasoline, and shelf space that I am saving by having access to a digital reader, and I am happy that I am learning about the printing press of the future.
Feel free to post comments or ask questions. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world scratching my head or having an "ah ha!" moment regarding digital publishing.
Copyright 2010 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved