Last week, for the second time, a friend recommended a book to me. Rather than let the idea pass, I brought it right away on my iPhone to be read later on my Kindle, for $5.99.
The next day, she brought me a paper copy of the book for me to read. Suddenly I had two copies.
This has never happened to me before: making an impulse book purchase so fast that I ended up with two copies. In fact, for most people (outside of the most avid readers and book-buyers) “impulse book purchase” used to be oxymoronic.
The demise of print newspapers and magazines has led to a chorus proclaiming the end of books. I don’t buy it. When the price of the book is (or could be) within the vicinity of the price of ringtones – 2.6 billion of those have been downloaded – and, perhaps more relevant, when the price sits somewhere between the going rate of an iPhone app and an iPad app AND they’re just as easy to acquire, there’s no reason to believe that people are going to buy fewer books, but there’s lots of reason to believe that how people buy “books” and what people buy will look a lot more like lots of other things we know about (online content, apps, games) than they will like the book business today.
That’s why it pays to pay attention to The Domino Project. Why the time to start building your audience, your voice, your tribe is now, not tomorrow. And why, whether we like these changes or not, it’s time to understand and embrace them.