I read with interest Nate’s analysis in The Digital Reader on the Great Ebook Blogger Culling of 2016. Five major blogs, including TeleRead, shuttered or vastly curtailed. Why? I have a different take on this from some people’s: The demographics simply aren’t right for bloggers to maintain this as a niche.
Let me explain. I got started with ebooks probably about as early as one could have, reading on a Palm Pilot back in the Fictionwise days. I’m now in my late 30s. So why did I vastly curtail my blogging habits this year? It was only partly a financial decision—I had a baby. And my fellow TeleRead contributor Susan did as well.
So that leaves the younger folks and the older ones. And anecdotally, I wonder how many of them are reading ebooks these days. My millennial-aged sister swears that none of her friends like ebooks. They take classes on Udemy when they want to learn, and they prefer their fiction on paper. And my older father-in-law, a former ebook junkie, prefers paper again because it’s so cheap to buy them second-hand that he can pack them to take on cruise ships with him and simply leave them there when he’s done. Ebooks, for all their benefits, require devices that are too expensive to be this disposable.
So a demographic breakdown of potential bloggers suggests that the problem may simply be a target market that isn’t the right age for blogging. The younger and older third of the population do read some ebooks but are returning to paper. The middle third of die-hard ebook fans are having babies and establishing careers. Who is left to do the blogging?
Image credit: Here.