To illustrate or not to illustrate? A question.

Frontier IncursioRecently we nominated Leonie Rogers’ Frontier Incursion for the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Digital Awards. The Awards were established to honour the best in Digital Book innovation with nominees being judged on 5 criteria:

  1. Content,
  2. Use of Platform and Technology,
  3. Innovation,
  4. Design, and
  5. Overall Reaction.

As a publishing award rather than a literary award we knew it was a bit of a long shot and unfortunately we weren’t successful. What was interesting, however, was the feedback we received from the judge about how they believed the book could be improved.

When I launched Hague Publishing it was with the intention of producing well edited eBooks, with a fast load, and a clean appearance. A book where the words did not get in the way of the story, but in fact supported that reading experience. Despite the failure to win the Award, it reassuring to have the judge recognise that the goals I had set myself had been achieved. It was also pleasing that the judge had enjoyed the story, particularly liking ‘the plot elements of genetic engineering and people-cat empathy’.

However, the suggestion that the book would benefit from the addition of internal illustration is not one that I would necessarily support. From a purely publishing perspective the use of internal illustrations would significantly add to the costs of production. While from the reader’s perspective illustrations would slow load time and chew up valuable storage space if they are like me and tend to leave previously read books on their eReader. It also raised the question of whether it would actually add any benefit to the reading experience.

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Just how many eReaders IS enough (Part 2)

Following on from last week’s blog where I asked the question, ‘Just how many eReaders do I need’ I thought this week I’d turn my attention to ‘Just how many eReaders does the world have?’. To answer this question I’ll be looking at:

  • How many (and what type) of eReaders are getting sold globally?
  • What is the market for eReaders compared to the traditional paperback?
  • How are tablets impacting on ‘traditional’ eReader sales?
  • What’s happening in Australia?
  • Are our own sales at Hague Publishing typical of the wider picture?

How many (and what type) of eReaders are getting sold globally?

In November 2012 Digitimes Research estimated that global shipments for 2012 would reach 9.82 million e-book readers, down 57.3% from 2011. Digitimes suggested at that time that because of “increasing competition from 7-inch tablets and large-screen smartphones, global e-book reader shipments will continue falling to 8.2 million units in 2013, 6.5 million units in 2014 and five million units in 2015”.  However recent figures put out by the Pew Research Centre paints a completely different picture of final 2012 sales, and I discuss this further below.

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