Printed page still has life in it

Neil Anderson & Books
Neil Anderson & Books
Have your say

Hearing reports of people getting withdrawal symptoms from printed books was quite satisfying.

It seems there might be life left in the medium after all.

I heard the first rumblings of an ebook backlash after the British Library reported a 10 per cent increase in visitors.

They put the rise down to a backlash against digital technology and people craving the printed page again.

It’s not the only place interest in physical books has been on the rise once again.

Sales of Kindle have 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 Foyles who reported an 8 per cent increase in growth.

For the moment at least, it seems the world of physical books is bloodied but unbowed.

I’ve seen a resurgence in interest from individuals and businesses wanting help producing books.

The ultimate accolade for most aspiring authors is still having a printed book they can hold – not a digital file they can email.

And while physical books battle to hold their own – people will usually want advice on how to do it.

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 a track record or 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.

Books have done wonders for my career – they have been an amazing asset. But I knew exactly what I wanted 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 a big transition but it sounds as though the printed page is going to be with us for a while longer yet.