Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Failure to find ebooks is now rare

I got a book as a gift from a good friend, and I so far like it a lot, so I tried to find it in ebook format, but with no luck (Trust the Healer Within, by Nick Bamforth).

This is of course disappointing, since I really have come to prefer ebooks with their searchability, the options to change text size, etc. But it can also be seen as hard proof of the really quite incredible success of ebooks in just a few years: One is quite surprised now to look for a book of any popularity (an many which were never popular), and not finding it in ebook format. Considering the mass of publishers and the not-trivial work in putting out a decent ebook, that is pretty monumental. It may even be the fastest popularisation of any new medium in history.

You may hear that the growth of ebooks have paused. But the statistics this is based on does not take into account self-published books, which are booming at an astonishing rate. Last year 400,000 books were self-published in the US alone! And a significant percentage of those are quite successful, some extremely successful, look at 50 Shades or Wool.


Joe Dick said...

I'm a recent convert to the ereader. I chose the (apparently discontinued) Kobo Mini because it fits easily into a pocket. I resisted the idea for years. It's frustrating though to not be able to find a particular title. I like history, and wanted this book on Napoleon I had read years ago. I don't want the giant physical copy again, I donated it for a reason. Most of what I search for I find, though.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Amazon should have a pocket model, I don't understand why they don't.

Kobo might be moribund.

On Amazon/Kindle it is amazingly rare to be unable to find a book.

If the book is out of copyright, try to find it on Gutenberg.org.

Congratulations on trying ebooks. I find them a great blessing, though I prefer LCD to E-ink.
(And getting an ebook read to you in an almost human voice on an Amazon Fire tablet is so kewl!)

Oh, some books can also be found on the Bit Torrent net, though I can't really figure that out myself.

Joe Dick said...

No, they're doing just fine. The selection seems just as good, too, the reason I can't find this particular title is probably because it was so hated - he didn't pretend, as many do, that Boney was a hero. The Kobo Mini has apparently been discontinued, but they're doing quite well with the other models. Amazon probably doesn't offer a pocket size Kindle because enough people aren't demanding it. Kobo seems to be more popular here. I went with it, too, partly because it can read other file types - you're not limited to just Amazon's own brand.

Anyway, I'm not giving up paper books. But I don't buy paperbacks anymore - an author I like, I'll buy a quality hardback. Everyman (and Overlook) have put out all of Wodehouse in a nice clothbound edition. I'm collecting those.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, it's a dick move (sorry, Mr. Dick) that Kindle's can't read other formats. The Fires can, though. (But are hobbled in many ways.)

Yes, if you want a nice involved conversation, stand up on a table in a bar in Paris and declare than "Boney" was a murderer...

Wodehouse... good wordsmith.
I started collecting the hardcover editions of the collected Peanuts. But maaaan, they will take up some shelf space when done!! And then I'd gone all over to ebooks. When they come like that, I'll buy the whole set, probably.
They are still finding their way with strip cartoon collections as ebooks. They don't understand for some reason that one strip should be treated as one page. But the scan and color quality of the latest Doonesbury collection makes me go a long sticky one.

Joe Dick said...

But the scan and color quality of the latest Doonesbury collection makes me go a long sticky one.

Well, I have to say - that made me laugh out loud!