Lulu’s view

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From the press release:

When it comes to books, there is a debate over which format is more popular — e-books or print editions. What many people fail to identify is the connection between the two, as the two formats tend to influence each other. According to self-publishing company Lulu.com, the number of print titles they produced for 2011 was around 50,000, which was a 9 percent increase over the prior year. Over 115,000 new e-book titles were released during the same period, which is a 22 percent increase over the prior year. However, print books accounted for 68 percent of all book sales.

“There is certainly a wonderful increase in the production and sale of e-books,” explains Sarah Gilbert, director of sales at Lulu.com ( www.lulu.com ), a self-publishing company. “But that doesn’t mean that people have done away with print books. Not by a long shot.”

What Lulu.com has found is that each of the two types of formatting tends to help fuel the sale of the other. Those authors who publish their book in both print and e-book format tend to sell double the amount of books, because it is available in the format that the reader prefers. While someone may read an e-book and recommend it to someone else, that person may go on to buy a print version of the book, or vice versa.

Lulu.com has found that many authors offer free e-book previews of their printed work, which helps to drive the sale of print editions. Many authors did this throughout the holidays last year, and while e-book sales doubled the day after Christmas, a few days later print sales tripled.

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