Continuing the debate about ebooks and their place in the market, Hodder Children’s announced last week that it will be launching a new e-only sci fi classics list. The list is launching with five out-of-print books, and aims to release up to 21 titles by September – see their Hodder Silver Twitter account for more info.
But is this a trend that’s set to continue? One of the major criticisms levelled at ebooks and the ebook market is that they limit the possibilities of new discoveries, making it hard to find new recommendations in the way that you would in a traditional bookshop.
It’s telling that the first e-only list is aimed at children and young adults, a generation that is likely to be far more engaged online with blogs and social media sites than ever before. The number of sites aimed at the sci fi and fantasy genre is huge, and each one is teeming with recommendations and opinions on the latest releases. It’s only natural that this audience would gravitate towards ebooks, where a quick click of the mouse is all it takes to deliver a book to the screen in front of you in a matter of minutes.
It’s a tentative start – as these are all novels that have previously appeared in print – and I think that we can see this growing more and more over time as people, but I can’t see paper books disappearing forever.
It’s also interesting to see that Sand, the latest novel from Hugh Howey, has actually been released as an ebook by publisher Cornerstone months before it will appear in print. Readers will still be able to pick up a hard copy, but it’s getting people used to having an ebook format be something that they look forward to.