Publishing industry experts have had much to say about ebooks since the first digital edition appeared on the market. While public opinion may still be out on whether ebooks are the next big thing or a flash in the reading pan, new unexpected benefits of digital reading appear on a fairly consistent basis.
According to an article in the New York Times, ebooks are speeding up the arrival of paperback editions of some big name best-sellers. More and more publishers are recognizing that paperback consumers don’t want to be left behind as hardcover and digital fans have access to their favorite titles in a timely manner. Therefore, the trend with paperbacks—which used to mean sometimes as much as a year or more following the release of the title in hardcover—is to decrease the amount of time it takes for a title to reach the trade paperback consumer.
Marketing is partially responsible for the urgency in getting paperbacks on the booksellers’ shelves, since the limited dollars a publisher has to spend on promoting a new title would have to be repeated to a lesser extent in a year’s time with the release of the paperback on a traditional timetable. By launching the hardcover and the ebook then reducing the turnaround time in which to release the paperback, publishers can capitalize on the continuing buzz surrounding a title, especially if it remains on the bestseller lists or if there are talks about optioning it into a movie.
While many experts continue to say that print books are not going away, they have been quick to point out that there will be a change of some kind in how consumers regard actual books. The trend may shift to a more paperback-intense market thanks to ebooks, meaning that the mass market and trade paperbacks may be the salvation of print.