Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Selling Print Books

It seems like all the news lately is about iBooks. But there is some interesting news about print books. The New York Times recently had an article about how publishers are giving print books a makeover in an attempt to boost sales – and just in time for Christmas.
 Many new releases have design elements usually reserved for special occasions — deckle edges, colored endpapers, high-quality paper and exquisite jackets that push the creative boundaries of bookmaking.
What publishers are doing is adding extras that might appeal to readers or making some books more beautiful and interesting.
For publishers, the strategy has a clear payoff: to increase the value of print books and build a healthy, diverse marketplace that includes brick-and-mortar bookstores and is not dominated by Amazon and e-books …. There are indications that an exquisitely designed hardcover book can keep print sales high and cut into e-book sales.
Publishers hope readers will see their enhanced print books and say, Now there’s a book worth buying and keeping.

How many of you are giving print books or Christmas? Are they regular books or special “beautiful” books? Or are you giving e-books?


  1. I'm actually going shopping today to peruse books. I've already bought my kids a bunch of books. Now for the others on my list...

    I haven't gotten e-books. I don't have an ereader and I don't like to read on the computer. My husband doesn't mind reading on his new iPad. He's started borrowing from the library.

  2. Interesting that they are probably making books more expensive to compete with the inexpensive e-books. I give printed books for presents, but giving e-books to friends in other states/countries is a great idea.

  3. Ooops I was logged into my blog where I volunteer when I commented - the Pregnancy Help Center comment was from me.

  4. I think this is a great idea. Although I have thoroughly embraced ebooks, there's something special about holding and reading a print book. Plus, I love deckle edges. :)

  5. You're up early, Ann. I'd use that as my excuse, if I were you, ;-)

    Laurita, I'm not even sure what a deckled edge is.

    Theresa, my husband likes reading on his iPad, as well.

  6. I'm always drawn to the coffee table books. Even if you don't look at it all the time, a really pretty book is needed to wait in the wings as a pick-me-up.

  7. Well, since the books I'm giving are either ones I illustrated or ones I had autographed by the creators, I'd say they're definitely special, beautiful, and keepers! :)

    Have a great holiday, Helen!

  8. I once heard a publisher say that she read e-books but collected pretty print books. Her theory was that print books might become more objets d'art. It looks like she might be onto something.

    I've purchased one print book for a present this year and the rest will be e-books (to my hubby). And I'm giving a few of my own autographed books to some of my friends and family.

  9. I'm giving print books, regular ones, and mostly to myself >:D

    Cold As Heaven

  10. Deckled edge? Oh, I hope that isn't from the porn section.

  11. I love to give print books as gifts to those who like reading. Last year I gave my son his favorite fantasy author in a series he hadn't read yet. The publisher put them three book set with their own box which can sit on the shelf. I thought it a nice idea.

    Specially decorated books as you describe? Very rarely. I understand the reasoning but if I give a book it's usually a paperback. It's what's inside that counts.Only exception is those I know that collect certain types of books.

    Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  12. Living in the UK, not many people have an ebook reader, but expect we shall gradually catch up. In the meantime it is print books for most of us. Frustrating when I've made two of my books into eBooks.. oh well... :0)

  13. Hi Helen .. I'm buying books still .. as I don't have e-reader .. I could do with some time though - so if you find any extra hours above 24 - could you send some my way!

    Cheers - e-books certainly seem to be taking off .. Hilary

  14. Hmm, very interesting. I can see their point too, because I know for myself if there was a fire and I could only save a few books, it would be my really nice copy of Persuasion and beautiful copy of the collected works of Lewis Carol. There really is just something about a beautiful book.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  15. Print books, of course. We need to continue buying them and giving them for gifts before they disappear entirely.

  16. Sorry, I'm a total eBook convert. And several people are receiving iTunes gift cards from me for Christmas. Guess I'm not the target audience for the fancy books, huh?

  17. They are really trying to hang on, aren't they? But doesn't it cost more to do that? And if they don't raise the cost of the book to cover, does the cost pass on to the consumer with a higher priced book?

  18. Joanne, I have several books on my coffee table, as well.

    Christina, I would totally agree with you!

    Great gifts, Gayle. I'm also giving books.

    Cold As Heaven - that's the only way to be sure you get what you want.

    Christopher, how do you come up with these? You always make me laugh.

    Hi Sia. I'm rather like you. I usually choose paperbacks over hardbacks. Lately, I'm looking at eBooks.

    Reaching out to eReaders is a smart move, though, Carole Ann.

    I have the answer for you Hilary. I get more hours in the day by skipping Tuesdays and applying those hours to the other six.

    Well, shoot, Sarah, now you've given me another thing to put on my Grab In Case of a Fire list.

    That's rather a scary thought, Jean.

    Alex, I haven't gotten the hang of iBooks, yet. I type in a title and nothing comes up. I'll re-check it out thought.

    Diane, that's pretty much what they're doing with these books. They're upping the price but giving "extras" so people will buy them.


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