Monday, February 4, 2013


Yep. Ramblin' Willie is back in the saddle! He calls this latest round of useless diatribe the power of a 7 year old. However, it looks more like the writing ability of a 7 year old. Honestly Mr. Meiners, you are supposed to set an example for your authors unless of course you are demonstrating what they should not do. See you in Gettysburg on the 12th!

----Forwarded Message----

Subject: The power of a 7-year-old

Good morning:

How many Christmases ago was it? Three? Suddenly everybody was
talking about ebooks.

Amazon had come out with an affordable Kindle, Barnes and Noble with
its full-color Nook, and almost overnight ebooks were all the rage.

It had serious effects.

Special advertisement,
click on this cover,
only $9.95 today!

Print book sales plummeted an estimated 15 percent. Bookstores went
bust. Remember Borders? Remember that small bookstore in your town
that's now not there anymore? But also, if you were working in the
printing industry: remember that you had a job? Printing companies
have been hit hard. And watch those book sections at Sam's Club and
Costco. Have they seemed getting smaller to you?

Within as little as two years 20 percent of us were reading ebooks.
Those who use a Kindle, Nook, iPad or another tablet still also read
print books, but not as many as we used to. Interestingly, ebook
consumers read more books overall now than they did three years ago,
which is the good news here, but print book sales are on the decline,

And then, suddenly, the whole ebook popularity flattened out.

This past holiday gift season was good for guns, Starbucks gift
cards, and iPhones, but ereader sales were cut roughly in half.
Barnes and Noble actually went public immediately after Christmas to
say they were disappointed about their Nook sales.

How come?

Why is it that somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the population
read ebooks, and that it now seems stuck at that level?

Smarter folks than I will a., figure it out, and b., show that it's
not so, but I actually have a suspicion. I think I know who the
culprits are.

It's people between the ages of 15 and 45.

If you're 45 or older, you are much more likely to have a Kindle or
another ereader. You don't want to be called old when you're 50, but
the reality is that you belong to the baby boom generation, and
that's the older population segment. To the publishing industry's
surprise, older folks are driving ereader and ebook sales. Why? Bad
eyesight. You can adjust the font size in your Kindle, and now every
grandmother can see what she's reading. She also likes that she can
take as many books with her as she wants when she goes to visit the
grandchildren and has nothing better to do while they sleep. Or, on
that note, that she can read in bed with the lights off because she
doesn't need as much sleep as she used to, and not disturb her
snoring husband.

We older folks didn't grow up with ebooks, we didn't even grow up
with computers. But we have a distinct reason for liking our Kindle.

If you're between 15 and 45 you didn't grow up with ebooks either,
but most of you have been around computers and computer games
virtually all your lives. Our industry had expected your generation
to be the first to embrace ebooks. But it didn't happen. There's not
enough familiarity. There's also no pressing need for larger font
sizes. And on top of that: Kindles and Nooks are no cheap gadgets.
Most of these young'uns need to watch what's in their wallet, and if
they must choose between what to spend their money on, they choose
smartphones first. That's the gadget that comes closer to what
they're familiar with: talk, text, games, music.

So who are going to drive the next ebook wave? Children. In the world
of electronics fifteen years is an eternity. No one knows what the
ebook landscape will look like, fifteen years from now. But we know
one thing for sure: today's generation of small kids will start
spending money like crazy between 2025 and 2030. And as far back as
they can remember they'll have lived in a world with ebooks. By then
they don't pay 300 bucks for a Kindle Fire HD. Ereaders will be dirt
cheap. The 20-somethings of tomorrow will have known ebooks all their
lives. There'll be familiarity. And familiarity creates demand.

This is what I expect to see. An ebook consumer market share that
will grow from a little over 20 percent today to maybe 30-35 percent
over the course of a decade. And then, soon thereafter, a new, big
surge when Jimmy, who's now seven, and Olivia, now five, get ready to
do their own spending.


Unless we manage to change the format of our ebooks drastically, to
make them indispensible to what's known as Generation X and the
Millennials (everyone born between 1965 and 2000). If ebooks can be
translated from and into another language on demand, by tapping on
your tablet, turn into a movie or documentary (tap), play music in
the background (tap) while you're ebook-texting with someone in China
or Chicago who is also reading the same ebook at the same time (tap),
to discuss what you're ordering in from the book's publisher who also
home-delivers groceries (tap), as you get ready to make an ebook
phone call (tap) with that other ebook reader whom you have been
ebook-online-dating (tap), if...

Who knows? If something like that happens, which is entirely
possible, then all bets are off.

I invite you to talk back to me. I don't guarantee a response, but I
do guarantee that we listen. You can reach me by email at - Attn.%20Willem . In the subject
line write Attn. Willem.

Have a wonderful day!
--Willem Meiners

If you want to rent space in one of Willem's Letters-from-the-CEO, go
to -
http:// Have your book portrayed
for tens of thousands of people to see in Willem's letter AND on
You can read this letter also online here: -
. Willem's CEO letter archive is here: -


This message was sent by Willem Meiners, CEO PublishAmerica using

PublishAmerica, LLLP
P.O. Box 151
Frederick, MD 21705

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