Book vs. Internet ? – Book + Internet !
Books and the Internet are the forms of communication media available to us doctors (Table 1 and 2). The most important difference is that we pay for books, but not for Internet sites, and, in addition:
Readability: books are easier to read and more versatile in their
Number of readers: for 1000 book-readers there are 10,000 and
more Internet readers
How up-to-date are they?: Internet sites are more up-to-date than
Table 1.1: Advantages of a book
can be sold easily by publishers
can be read easily in very different situations (beach, bath-tub etc.)
Table 1.2: Advantages of Internet sites
cost the reader nothing
are more up-to-date than books
reach a lot of readers
speed up the flow of information
At first glance, books and the Internet are very diverse media, at least when pitted against each other. However, they give a different impression when put side by side and combined (Table 1.3). A text which is produced as a combination of “book + internet” leaves little to be desired.
Table 1.3: Book + Internet sites
Book + Internet sites are
easy to sell + up-to-date
prestigious + have a lot of readers
suitable for the bath-tub + the computer
representative + around the world in an instant
In addition, books and the Internet benefit from each other. A book on its own is immobile – it takes Internet sites to set the text in motion.
Only then is it to be found standing on every street corner of the Internet, calling “Please take me with you!” In return, a book is the best possible publicity for an Internet site. It is only through books that Internet sites are archived correctly and given authority – among other things, because the authors have no choice but to commit themselves in black and white. The result is that Internet sites and books complement each other, and nowadays a text is only represented adequately in the combination, book + Internet.
Anyone who doesn't understand the complementary nature of book and Internet sites should think very hard about whether writing still makes sense for him. There is little doubt: out of two equally competent and detailed medical textbooks, the one available free of charge on the Internet will be the one to win favor with the readers.
In a direct confrontation between “book only” and “book + internet”, “books only” have a remote chance of survival. This fact means that the book with the free Internet version ultimately gains market shares.
The surprising twist is that the free Internet version promotes the sale of the fee-based book version. The financial result of a well-planned parallel publication (book + free Internet counterpart) can thus be very
satisfying in the middle-term.
The Reference: free medical information