A new survey of readers in New Zealand, as reported by Stuff.co.nz, demonstrates that readers still prefer print over digital or audiobooks when it comes to self-selected texts. Despite the growing ebook market and an increase in digital readership in a few key age demographics, print wins out for most and for all the usual reasons.
According to the article on the findings, “Those most in favour of e-books were predictably under 30 year olds who only preferred the printed book by a 28 per cent to 27 per cent margin.
“Those aged 45 to 49 were the most hostile age cohort for e-books with 42 per cent preferring the printed version and 18 per cent an e-reader.
“Consistent with the BBQ debates the major factor cited by those who preferred reading printed books was that they enjoyed the feel and smell. A secondary factor coming through was that there was less strain on the eyes. Lower level factors cited by printed book advocates were they didn’t run out of power, it was easier to skip back and forward, habit and print books filled bookshelves.”
It may seem unrelated to some industry watchers, but the fact that consumers still prefer and buy more print than digital actually speaks to the increased validity of data about how self-published authors are faring in the market. Given that indie authors as a group generally sell more of their ebooks than their print titles, and given that consumers purchase more print than digital, it would show that the greater piece of the publishing pie that indies now earn is on even greater sales. They sell fewer books and at cheaper prices, yet still earn more income than traditionally published authors.
This data is no more prevalent than in the Author Earnings reports, who recent study of Barnes and Noble data showed that self-published authors are earning even higher amounts of income than traditionally published authors.