E-books and the Internet
It may not be everyone's favourite way of reading, but there is no doubt that the e-book is here to stay – and it is also bringing about a paradigm shift in book publishing.
Amazon says that it now sells at least 105 e-books for every 100 printed books, while the latest figures from the Publishers' Association show that sales of e-books and audio books in the non-academic category quadrupled in 2010.
Many e-books can be read on a computer screen but a more common way of accessing them is now through devices known as e-readers available from manufacturers such as Sony, Amazon, Cool-ER and Apple (the iPad).
The e-book format has clear benefits for authors. An e-book expands the potential readership for a title and the fact that it can be downloaded immediately increases the chances of it being bought. Its presence on the Internet, of course, makes a book accessible to a worldwide audience, but it is also important to realise that the Internet also makes it easier to target specific interest groups to whom a book might have a particular relevance – and often these groups can have a significantly large number of potential purchasers.
Our policy is to publish books, where suitable, in both print and the standard e-book formats. In a co-publishing arrangement, there is no extra cost for this.