One of the groups on LinkedIn asked an interesting question: Is E-Book only publishing – Literary equivalent of ‘Straight to video’ films?

To answer that question

No. For an increasing number of people the stigma of “e-books” is fading and being replaced with “That book on my Kindle” or “That book on my Nook” (say that last one out loud, it’s fun).

Can we prove the trend?

Now, there are many more people who prefer to hold a book over downloading a book on their Kindle, Nook, or iPad.  But which is showing an increase; downloads or paperbacks sold?  The links above only show Amazon, but as the largest book seller in the world I think we should consider this a valid trend.

This has all happened before

Let’s look to other industries that have been absolutely rocked by the onslaught of digital technology.  How many video stores do you see anymore?  Is that a good business to be in?  How about record stores?  Would you invest in a friend opening a store that sells CD’s?  It looks like books and bookstores will suffer the same fate, soon relegated to specialty and vintage sales.

My verdict? E-Book publishing used to be like the old “straight to video” movies, but it is increasingly becoming a preferred method for the readership.