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Friday, December 20, 2013

Printed Books Not Dead Yet

E-books have gotten plenty of press over the last few years, but new research doesn’t back up the headlines. A study on IT strategies by Ricoh Americas Corp. and the University of Colorado found that 70% of consumers felt it was unlikely they would give up their printed books by 2016 and 60% of downloaded e-books are never read.

The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers reported that the top three reasons people chose printed books were the lack of eyestrain when reading paper, the look and feel of paper, and the ability to add the title to a library or bookshelf. It also reaffirmed other studies that have shown college students prefer printed textbooks.

“To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, the reports of the printed book’s death are greatly exaggerated,” said George Promis, vice president of continuous forms of production solutions and technology alliances at Ricoh. “Print is alive, well, and sought after in today’s book market.”

The research also found that publishers produced more than 10% of all printed book pages in the United States since 2012 on production inkjet systems, allowing them to test titles before ordering larger runs. In addition, offering e-titles isn’t a guarantee of more income or cost savings because even the largest publishers reported revenues of no more than 20%-30% from e-book sales.

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