THE BLOG

Are all books created equal?

26/01/2015 14:20 GMT | Updated 24/03/2015 09:59 GMT

I'm sure many of you have enjoyed reading a good motivational book or ebook at some point in recent months. I've had quite a few to choose from and this got me thinking, are all books really created equal? If you had to choose, would it be an ebook or a printed one?

There is no doubt that ebooks have become very popular because of the information focus and the ease of download. The main purpose of an ebook in the business/personal development sense is to deliver a specific chunk of information that solves a particular business problem or life challenge.

That said, many things which have been called 'ebooks' in the past are not necessarily an electronic version of a printed book you might assume. Nor is it simply a shorter version of a book. In fact, I think it can be a total cop-out when I hear people saying that they plan to produce an ebook instead of a printed book, I always check that they are not being just lazy. Sometimes they are trying to avoid the cost and delay of getting their book into print. When you compare an ebook with its counterpart in print, however, it would always be better to have the book in print. It certainly creates more credibility.

I don't know about you, but I've seen a lot of really terrible ebooks over the past few years. Ebooks which promised the world and delivered nothing. I even have some I have never read, still sitting in a folder in my computer. What makes it worse is that ebooks tend to attract higher prices, but I believe it is just a cultural phenomenon which we have allowed to take hold. $97 for a 45-page ebook when the print version would have a price tag of about $19.99? Who are we kidding!? This trend of overpriced ebooks has got to stop. It reminds me of The Emperor's New Clothes. No one wants to admit that ebooks are overpriced. Those people who do buy them do so because of the copy on lengthy sales pages promising many secrets that will be revealed. Sometimes they disappoint.

Luckily, the real potential of ebooks is now beginning to surface. The term ebook is increasingly becoming associated with an electronic version of an entire book in print and this is rapidly replacing those earlier hybrid ebook creations that didn't really deliver. Modern ebook readers now have much better features that make books much easier to read and have improved the overall experience. The main benefit is the weight of the device, allowing you to have access to a thousand books in the palm of your hand, as opposed to the heavy printed versions.

What's even better is some publishers are now offering you the opportunity to purchase a printed book and an ebook version as a joint package, giving you total flexibility over how you read your chosen titles. For travellers facing increasingly strict baggage restrictions, it's certainly an appealing proposition.

Personally, I still believe the hard copy in print is here to stay for quite some time and despite the positive steps made in the ongoing ebook revolution, it still has a way to go before it replaces the traditional print book. Do you agree?