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Old 09-24-2010, 06:35 AM   #1
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E-Books Are Only 6% of Printed Book Sales

Shamelessly ripped from slashdot. With a link to the original article:

http://technologyreview.com/blog/mimssbits/25783/
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:03 AM   #2
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I'm surprised they're that much, so quickly. Bet they're around 10% by next June 30.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:05 AM   #3
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I for one would love to see our eBook sales dominate over print sales. It's a lot less work managing them, it's also easier to provide replacement updates to people (such as spelling mistakes etc).
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:09 AM   #4
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I'm thinking they're higher than that. A big part of that 6% figure comes from their estimate that Amazon has 90% of the ebook market, which seems really high considering Apple and B&N both claim a 20% share. Also, there's this information from Publisher's Weekly. Dollar-wise, reported ebook sales were only 20% less than paperback sales in July. If that 6% figure is accurate, then sales shouldn't be that close.

Here's the link to the PW article.
E-book Sales Jump 150% in July

Last edited by carld; 09-24-2010 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:30 AM   #5
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I'm surprised they're that much, so quickly. Bet they're around 10% by next June 30.
And the rest! Growth in July was 150%.

Bit like saying back in 1995 "only 6% people have access to the internet".

I think eBooks are now unstoppable.
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:42 AM   #6
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That number will jump after the Holidays because I'm hearing rumors that the original version of Kindle will drop to 99 bucks for the Christmas season.

I'd suggest polishing up any new stories you have in the pipeline so you can take advantage of those new potential customers! ( $$$$$$ )
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:12 AM   #7
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This isn't a football game. There isn't a winner and a loser. Printed books and ebooks can co-exist and people can buy whichever they want.
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:48 PM   #8
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This isn't a football game. There isn't a winner and a loser. Printed books and ebooks can co-exist and people can buy whichever they want.
Maybe, maybe not. Or rather, I suspect that ebooks and the current economic model that drives paper books sales are not compatible. I think paper books will still be around in 10-15 years, but I think there might be very few brick and mortar book stores to buy them in. Perhaps Barnes and Noble will all becomes Starbucks with Print on Demand book machines. Buy a book while you wait for your Latte .

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Old 09-24-2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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This isn't a football game. There isn't a winner and a loser. Printed books and ebooks can co-exist and people can buy whichever they want.
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Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
Maybe, maybe not. Or rather, I suspect that ebooks and the current economic model that drives paper books sales are not compatible. I think paper books will still be around in 10-15 years, but I think there might be very few brick and mortar book stores to buy them in.
I agree. The print model for books has been flailing for a while now, trying to be profitable while absorbing a 50% waste rate for pbacks, trying to sell new titles quickly in massive numbers despite the fact that reading is slower than movies and slower to spread by word of mouth. Popular titles fall out of print while trash nobody wants fills the shelves. (Also, popular titles are reprinted six times and trash gets a small first-run printing and vanishes; the system does sometimes work.)

The entire publishing industry was designed around economic and communication realities that no longer apply; it needs new methods. Ebooks are going to push it to find those methods--or collapse. I suspect a lot of publishers will go out of business over the next decade or two, as they fail to figure out how to identify and reach their real market, or as they discover their safety net (whatever it is) doesn't actually work.

Print books aren't going to go away, no matter how good ebooks get; print is *useful* tech. Stable for hundreds of years. But publications of leisure/entertainment reading material may drop off incredibly, especially if publishers & authors can sort out a method to allow used ebooks to be given away or sold.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:52 PM   #10
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This isn't a football game. There isn't a winner and a loser. Printed books and ebooks can co-exist and people can buy whichever they want.
Someone will find a way for them to coexist. I'm confident of it.

According to this Harris Poll, only 20% of the respondents have or plan to purchase an ebook reader (this includes iPad). That leaves 80% of the 18+ crowd not interested in ebooks or 180 million adults.

http://www.bnet.com/blog/technology-...+on+the+Web%29

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...103514154.html
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:15 PM   #11
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Someone will find a way for them to coexist. I'm confident of it.

According to this Harris Poll, only 20% of the respondents have or plan to purchase an ebook reader (this includes iPad). That leaves 80% of the 18+ crowd not interested in ebooks or 180 million adults.

http://www.bnet.com/blog/technology-...+on+the+Web%29

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...103514154.html
Of course, the same data suggests that 2 in 5 readers (or about 40%) actually do much in the way of reading (11 books a year, which is not even a book a month).

So, I can certainly that the %60 of people who don't read all that much would see little need for an ebook reader. If you only read a few books a year, or no books a year (Which I suspect is probably higher than polls like this will indicate since I suspect that many will either over estimate how many books they read or simply lie to avoid looking like they are illiterate.), you have no reason to get an ebook reader.

So ultimately, we are looking at that remaining 40% of regular readers. So, if we assume (for good reasons) that the %20 who either have or plan to get ebook readers are part of that %40, we are looking at essentially a split down the middle of regular readers. About half of them get ebook readers and half don't.

The way I see it, we are probably looking at a minimum of a 30-40% shift of book sales from paper to ebooks. Further, I suspect as publishers and authors come to appreciate the higher margins of ebooks (since there is no storage, transportation or return costs associated with them) that more and more books will be made available only as ebooks or print on demand books. This might tip many of the remaining 20% of dedicated readers over to ebooks.

One way or the other though, I can imagine a 30-40% of their business playing havoc with a lot of dedicated book retailers.

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Old 09-24-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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The majority here place a high value on the portability of many books in one eBook reader, but I am skeptical that the American public will share that appreciation and pay close to paper prices for eBooks.

It may be that a large percentage of eBook reader owners will use their devices for those books which are free or cost below $3.00.

If as many people get eBook readers for Christmas 2010 as was predicted last year at this time, I can imagine that US reading will increase in 2011, but spending on books will not.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:39 PM   #13
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The real story here is that DTBooks will never die but ebooks are taking off in a big way. The author may be railing against what he sees as irrational exuberance, but if so few kindle users can make that kind of dent in the hardcover market, there is just cause for some exuberance.

Amazon is looking mighty clever right about now. B&N will also continue to invest their clout. I'll be interested to see where Apple's sales numbers are in a year too.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:45 PM   #14
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I think that 6% will go up, and quickly, as more people get ereaders and discover the joys of reading on one. I love my Kindle and I've only had it 10 days.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:45 PM   #15
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The majority here place a high value on the portability of many books in one eBook reader, but I am skeptical that the American public will share that appreciation and pay close to paper prices for eBooks.

It may be that a large percentage of eBook reader owners will use their devices for those books which are free or cost below $3.00.

If as many people get eBook readers for Christmas 2010 as was predicted last year at this time, I can imagine that US reading will increase in 2011, but spending on books will not.
I for one won't pay more for an ebook than the paperback price.

I'm not sure there's that many people in the world that actually like to read. Out of all the people I know, only a handful actually read books (electronic or otherwise). Back in 1950 or earlier there was no television and not much for movies. Most of the people I know would rather sit their fat butt in front of a TV rather than read a good book. I don't think cheap ebook readers are going to make converts out of too many of those people.
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