Thursday, May 16, 2013

Are E-book Sales Slipping?

"After three years of triple-digit increases, the number of e-books sold last year grew by only 43%."

So begins an article in today's USA Today.  Grew by only 43%.  Like that's bad? What business would weep over stats like that? The point is that ebook growth may be beginning to trend down. 

Wasn't that inevitable? Of course. But is it a crisis? I think not.

Even though ebooks represent 20% of all books sold, the USA Today article points out that the rate of growth seems to be leveling off and that many readers still prefer the feel and look of printed books.

I suspect that will always be true. I have my Nook and a print book on my bedside table and I alternate reading each one. Most of my own book sales are e-books and I sell 10 ebooks for every print edition of my books. But the print editions do continue to be preferred by some readers. That's fine with me.

When TV was created, pundits predicted the end of radio. Of course, that didn't happen. Radio just morphed into a new style of delivering music and news. The same thing will happen with books. Print will always be with us, in my opinion. But there's no stopping, also in my opinion, the tsunami of ebooks flooding cyberspace. 

Readers will continue to have an expanding choice of what to read and how to access books. And that's a good thing, also in my opinion. What's yours?

Robert Tell, Author

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