I have been sent two article recently that have caught my attention. The first called Some startling statistics by Robyn Jackson – http://www.humorwriters.org/startlingstats.html looks at some statistics fro reading and they are worth considering:
- 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
- 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
- 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
- 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
- 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
- 70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
- 70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
Many would ask what has caused this and I would suspect as probably most people would the availability and ease of access to other forms of media. In fact the article continues stating -
(Source: Veronis, Suhler & Associates investment banker)
This does not paint a pretty picture for the publishing industry and books. So what is going to happen.
Enter article number two This one from the Huffington Post discussing Al Gore’s App/Book on the ipad called Our Choice – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/28/al-gore-our-choice-app-push-pop-press_n_854783.html
One of the opening comments in the article is “Al Gore’s ‘Our Choice’ App Reinvents Books, Reading” It does, seemlessly embedding text, imagery, video, interactive elements, audio into an ebook. I bought the book, not only because it is interesting, but also because this is a blue print of what books will be.
When we consider the traits we seen in the Millennial generation – preference for media, viewing images first then text, predominantly visual (this is a human trait rather than just a millennial one), liking non linear approach to reading and learning (hyperlinking), speed of access (and impatience) portability, and convergence of entertainment and learning. This style of publishing has obvious value and merit.