In honor of the 41st annual worldwide celebration of Earth Day, we intended to sing the praises of e-book publishing and explain why it is more environmentally responsible than traditional book printing. After all, books use tons of paper, so digital content saves trees…right?
On the one hand, a blog post at Self-Publishing Review presumes that ebooks are more environmentally responsible: “…the lower carbon footprint for ebooks is an enormously important component…even though ebooks may not be aesthetically preferable to printed books…some of these aesthetic conveniences may need to be pushed aside in order to—literally—save the planet.”
On the other hand, as the folks at TreeHugger suggest, there are more sustainable ways to print books using recycled, chlorine-free paper and other eco-friendlier options, which are being increasingly adopted. “…If a publisher sells a million copies of an average 250-page book, it takes 12,000 trees to produce books for this one title. Alternatively, if the publisher chooses to print the books on 100% post- consumer waste recycled paper, no trees are cut.”
Besides the paper itself, eco-factors to consider include the energy used for printing and fuel and emissions for shipping quantities of books. What’s more, pulp and paper mills are among the top greenhouse gas producers. Likewise, the carbon footprint of electronic readers like the Kindle and iPad (the top two e-reader devices on the market) must also be considered, including production, life-cycle, user behavior, cross-functionality and disposal issues. This EcoLibris article links to several in-depth items, including a recent report by the Green Press Initiative, “Environmental Impacts of E-Books”, with rather inconclusive results, due to the variability of the above factors affecting e-readers.
Meanwhile, Sustainablog lauds small e-book publisher EcoBrain’s policy of “only selling ebooks in PDF format because of their cross-platform functionality,” which makes non-proprietary materials readable on the widest range of devices.
In the end, as with many questions of sustainability, there are no easy answers to the question “paper or ebook?” But we privately believe ebooks have the edge, although with the introduction of Print on Demand for publishers, books don’t get mass produced until they are purchased, which is a completely better position for the planet as well: fewer wasted books. How about you – what do you think about it?
We also thought Earth Day was the perfect time to launch the latest BookRix free writing contest. Do you think the world is more likely to end through a global-warming, environmentally-driven catastrophe, a nuclear Armageddon, a zombie epidemic or perhaps a more personal, individual apocalypse?
Tell us how the world might end at some point in your opinion in our BookRix End of the World Writing Contest, from April 22 to June 10, 2011! You could win a fabulous cash prize and gain international recognition…so start dreaming and writing today!
In the past, BookRix has given contest prizes of e-Readers, such as the Kindle for the Worst Nightmares mini-contest (of which Gooduklady was the lucky and talented winner) and soon an iPad in the Dear Diary contest! But did you know you can download e-books from BookRix to your e-Reader? It’s fairly easy to do so regardless of if you have a Kindle, Nook, iPad or other e-Reader!
It’s as simple as going to the book on BookRix that you want to read and hit the Download/E-Reader button on the right below the book cover (see image below). Follow the prompts to download the book to your computer or your e-Reader device.
For most e-Readers, you’re set to go because your e-Reader accepts the ePub file format. For the Kindle however, you will need to convert the ePub files to Kindle-friendly formats like .mobi. To do so, you will need the help of third party conversion software programs like Calibre and Mobipocket. There may be some formatting that does not convert well, but that mostly occurs with complicated layouts or formatting. Once you have converted the e-book into a Kindle-friendly format, you’re on your way to enjoy your free e-books. With thousands of books and e-books in our online library to choose from on BookRix.com, you’re sure to find several e-books that e-xcite you!
Have a favorite book or author online on BookRix? Share it in a comment here on this blog post!
In a recent press release, the Association of American Publishers reported that in January 2011, U.S. net sales of e-books surged by 115.8% over the same month last year, more than doubling from $32.4 to $69.9 million. Total book sales were slightly lower, with both hardcover and paperback book sales declining significantly.
Across the pond, digital, print-on-demand and self-publishing have boosted the production of new book titles in the UK, up 14% from 2009 to 2010 (133,000 to 151,969), according to Bookseller.com. The article states, “The figure is derived from the number of ISBNs Nielsen issues over the year. However, the 2009 figure has since been increased to 157,039 because of the late addition of digital titles in that year, a factor that may also further increase the 2010 figure.” Last year also saw 3,151 new UK publishers registering for an ISBN, a 10-year high, compared to 3,007 in 2009—an increase attributed primarily to self-publishing authors.
Meanwhile, everyone wants a piece of the e-book pie. For instance, Barnes & Noble is expanding its PubIt! digital publishing platform for the NOOK format, Amazon’s new AmazonEncore distribution program helps self-published authors get more exposure across various channels, and even the perennial page layout software application QuarkXPress has been overhauled to let publishers catch the next wave of digital content production.
Also riding the crest of the digital self-publishing juggernaut is our own BookRix.com online author/reader community that has grown from zero to more than 15,500 digital uploads since launching just 2.5 years ago. As a BookRix member, aren’t you proud to be on the cutting edge of the future of book publishing? We are!
What are your thoughts and concerns as the world of publishing keeps changing?
BookRix has three exciting writing competitions starting or running in April so hopefully you have your writing cap on and you’re ready to go! As always, the BookRix writing contests are free to enter! Don’t miss your chance at the great prizes offered and the bragging rights to say you’ve placed as a winner or top finalist in an online writing contest!
1) We all know the Dear Diary Writing Contest has started so make sure to get your entries in and vote by April 14.
2) You’ve probably thought about how the world might end at some point in your life, especially with all the events in recent months. Why not put your thoughts down into a book and submit it to the free BookRix End of the World Writing Contest? You could win one of our three fabulous cash prizes!
First place prize: $600, Second place prize: $400, Third place prize: $200
There are so many ways our world could end – in the fiery heat of a solar explosion, run over by a zombie epidemic, struck off by a large meteor or caused by a physics experiment gone wrong! Maybe the phrase “end of the world” has a more personal meaning for you – the end of your world might be because of a job loss or a death of a loved one. Let your imagination and your words run free with this contest!
3) In one week, the next writing challenge, Write from an Animal’s Perspective, will begin! Get your ideas ready to post when the writing challenge entry thread opens in the I Love BookRix Writing Contests group on April 8. The submissions period runs from April 8 through April 20 and the voting by the community goes from April 21 through April 28.
The contest prizes are two $25 Amazon gift cards – one for each winning writer. The top two most original animal writers are chosen by the BookRix community so be sure to make your animal crys heard – um – we mean voices heard for your favorites!
Join BookRix members in this exciting month of free writing contests!
The first place prize of $300 goes to Evercaptivating for the poetry book, The Push and Pull of You. This book was created “for the repentant hearts of husbands” according to the book description. BookRix independent judge, Harry Sims, wrote:
The voice in this poem is raw, and the poetic structure is refreshingly unrefined. When the reader gets to the phrase “You refused to fight for me,” it becomes clear that this poem is more of a howl than a lament.
This poem creates the mythological element in a poem about forbidden love….[It] is one that a reader can read over and over again capturing something new each time.
Read the official winner’s announcement and further commentary by the judges in the I Love BookRix Writing Contests group. And check out all our past, present and future BookRix free writing contests to stay current with winners, prizes and ways you can enter to win!