Printed word is bloodied but unbowed (for the moment)

Signing books in Waterstones

Book signing

Hearing reports of people getting withdrawal symptoms from printed books was quite satisfying.
Seems there might be life left in the medium after all!
I heard the first rumblings of an eBook backlash from the British Library who reported a 10% increase in visitors.
They put the rise down to a backlash against digital technology and people craving the printed page once again.
It’s not the only place interest in physical books has been on the rise once again.
Sales of Kindle has been falling through the floor at Britain’s biggest book retailer whilst physical book sales have been booming.
In fact Waterstones reported sales of the eBook reader had almost disappeared in the run up to Christmas last year.
Sales of printed books have been equally buoyant at Foyle’s who reported an 8% increase in growth.
All told, for the moment at least, it seems the world of physical books is decidedly bloodied but definitely not unbowed.
I’ve seen a resurgence in interest from individuals and businesses wanting help putting their own books together.
The ultimate accolade for most aspiring authors I know is still having a printed book they can hold and savour – not having an digital file they can email.
And whilst physical books battle to hold their own – people will normally want advice on how to do it  (especially if it’s their first foray).
The format is a big commitment – there’s no chance of amendments once you’ve pressed the ‘print’ button – but their marketing potential is as big as it ever was.
When I wrote my first, in 2009, I’d not got the luxury of having a track record or having a format to base anything on.
I decided there was no point in reinventing the wheel so I searched the shelves of Waterstones, found a book I liked the look and feel of and said there and then – my book’s going to look like that.
And it did – literally.
Books have done wonders for my career – they have been an amazing asset. But I knew exactly what I wanted from them before I started.
And that’s what you need. You really need to be clear on why you’re doing it. Those facts will dictate the shape of the book and everything else surrounding it.
There’s no doubt the book world is going through the biggest transition of generations but it sounds as though the printed page is going to be with us for a while longer yet.