I took some time to research the subject of eBooks and their influence on traditional book sales. Are eBooks a serious threat to the industry? What will the outcome be?
These quotes came from Digital Book World, article by Jeremy Greenfield, April 1, 2014, titled eBook Growth Slows to Single Digits in U.S. in 2013
Say goodbye to the go-go years of fast-paced eBook growth — at least for now. E-book growth, once in the triple and double digits, with no signs of abating, has slowed to a crawl in 2013.
According to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers, adult trade eBooks brought in $1.3 billion in revenue in 2013, up 3.8% from $1.25 billion in 2012. EBooks now account for 27% of all adult trade sales, up from 23% in 2012.
Also, I found these quotes from thetimes-tribune.com, article by Terrie Morgan-Besecker (Staff Writer), March 14, 2014, titled Print books holding own in stiff e-book competition
“The dire predictions of two or three years ago that e-books were going to kill off print books (are) not true,” said Andi Sporkin, vice president of communications for the Association of American Publishers. “They have found their place in publishing … but there is a resurgence of hardcover and paperbacks as well.”
“E-reading devices and tablets have increased the variety of ways book content is available to readers. Some enjoy them. Others are more traditional and want to stay with print. They are not mutually exclusive,” Mr. Applebaum said. “Our goal is to deliver our authors books to readers in a forum and reading platform they prefer.”
(Stuart Applebaum is a spokesman for Penguin-Random House.)
I share the optimism of these book industry executives. Even though they may be biased, I believe they have every reason to be optimistic. The furious upsurge in eBook market share has abated. While the numbers tell their own story, they represent an unfinished tale. I think eBooks and printed books both have a place in the future.
I am happy to share my own experience. While eBooks are cheaper, I find I have to pay almost as much for an eBook written by a best-selling author as I would have to pay for the same author’s paperback version. Don’t forget that there is an investment required. I bought a Kindle years a go and recently purchased an android tablet. I am able to read my eBooks on the tablet via the Kindle App.
I enjoy the privilege of shopping online for a book. Once I have determined that I want the book, I order it. I have to wait approximately 30 seconds until the eBook shows up on my device. Ah, the benefits of technology!
Digital Book World, article by Jeremy Greenfield, April 1, 2014, titled Ebook Growth Slows to Single Digits in U.S. in 2013
thetimes-tribune.com, article by Terrie Morgan-Besecker (Staff Writer), March 14, 2014
I don’t buy books of any kind. I prefer “real” books and go to the library for them. I don’t think books in print will disappear in my life time. I do read some ebooks but only freebies.. My Nook I use mostly to check email and the weather and WP notifications and play games.
You are not alone, Patricia, and I don’t think this preference will disappear with our generation. “Real” books are here to stay. We have one more platform upon which we may choose to read, eBooks. Now that the surge of a new thing has abated, the market will return to a normal pace again, with necessary adjustments having been made by publishers and booksellers.
Thank you for sharing the results of your research on publishing and such. I believe that digital media will bring some much-needed balance to the publishing industry by giving authors greater access to publication and readers. And I think it will be the medium of choice for short form work (essays, novellas, short stories, even poetry) going forward.
Insightful predictions, Jennifer. I agree on both points. Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Blessings to you…
I have some digital magazine subscriptions, but I’m still not reading more than I would if it was in paper. I’m several issues behind, even. Some are just better in-hand than online.