Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Why 100% Digital Does Not Work

I started thinking about this yesterday after my wife came home from work. Let me give you the background here.

She is a department chair for her college and she was in doing an observation for one of her instructors. This guy was using a gaming app called Kahoot for a review activity. This is a great app but here is where the problem lies. If people don't have the technology, they are now locked out of the activity.

Here is another example. I fully understand the music industry is advancing quickly in terms of their technology. We have really come a long way from those 8-Track tapes! But when we have gone 100% digital, if people do not have the technology to listen to the music, (or to watch the shows such as Hulu, Netflix and the like), you have cut off part of the population that may have contributed to your income.

But how does this relate to publishing? The answer is simple. When you limit your readership to only those with the digital capabilities, you have lost a huge section of your population. Not everyone has the technology to read your books digitally. Not everyone has a large tablet, Kindle or something to read your books. Not everyone enjoys reading books on technology. There are still a lot of people out there who love the smell and feel of a book.

The large publishers did figure this out quickly when the digital book movement began. When they released books, they did so both in print and in e-book format. This is actually one of the big reasons why we saw such a spike in e-books at the beginning. It was not that authors who were going 100% digital were out-pacing the print sales. It was that the print people were doing BOTH and that contributed to the sales.

For you new authors out there, I fully understand the allure of grabbing those self-publishing opportunities that are primarily digital. You are now published! But remember there are a lot of people out there who might really enjoy your writing but will never see it if they are not using the digital outlets.

I am not someone who is going to say digital is bad, but I have to remind a lot of people, that, although the technology may be out there, not everyone has access to it, or enjoys using it. If you want to increase your sales, you have to create those multiple platforms for your readers.

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