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Old 01-13-2015, 04:33 AM   #1
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Ebooks in 2015: Trends and Forecasts

Two-part report that aims to provide the information you need to catch up and keep up with this complex area of the information industry. First part:

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Today, we honestly don’t have a reliable, stable source for statistics on the book publishing industry in the U.S. or abroad. Bowker’s Books In Print used to be a standard source; however, today the industry defies even this standard, which bases its data on the fact that the publisher is responsible for assigning ISBNs for the industry. Nielsen BookScan has been in operation since 2001, but it is subscription-only at costs not affordable to public institutions, and it covers only about 75% of sales in the U.S. market.
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Kobo released its first Book Report in December 2014, which is intended to measure the value of the current worldwide market for ebooks. It estimates the current market at $14.5 million, with an expectation of continuing growth in the industry to $22 billion by 2017. Michael Tamblyn, Kobo’s president and chief content officer, notes, “The advances that we’re seeing year-over-year are incredible, with more publishers, users and new technology changing the face of the industry at an unprecedented pace.”
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Data on ebook adoption in Europe is less strong. “Last year, digital books made up 8 percent of the consumer book market in France, less than 4 percent in Germany and Italy, and 1 percent in Sweden and Norway,” The New York Times reports. “In Asia, Japan led e-book markets with 15 percent of the country’s total consumer book revenues; China and India, meanwhile, lagged far behind with 3 percent each.” According to publishing analyst Rüdiger Wischenbart, pricing has been the biggest challenge affecting the success of ebooks in Europe. “Germany and France have been reluctant to discount e-books for fear of hurting their print business. As a result, the average price for a digital version of a best-selling novel in Germany or France is over $20, compared with $9 in Britain.”
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In October 2014, Amazon released its Kindle Voyage to very little public reaction, although reviews of the pricey ($199) device were very positive. In the past year, Amazon put forth a wide variety of e-readers: the Kindle (seventh generation), Kindle Voyage, Kindle Voyage 3G, Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7 (second generation), and Fire HDX 8.9 (second generation). Is this overkill or targeted marketing? Perhaps a larger question is whether the e-reader is losing its luster in the marketplace.
(Original Article from NewsBreaks)
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:03 AM   #2
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It seems kind of natural that growth will slow over time in a new market. Of course, the key is that good numbers are hard to find given that many of the major players are fairly secretive about their numbers.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:16 AM   #3
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I think the Kobo quote has a typo:
$14.5 *Million* in 2014 growing to $22 Billion in 2017.

I would take that at $14.5 Billion in 2014 but it seems a bit high unless they are including hardware in the mix.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:20 PM   #4
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I think ebooks are getting to the point of saturating the market via Amazon. 3 years ago it was different, authors, especially Independents could make money selling ebooks. Yet we have so many free ebooks now, and with Overdrive and other sources, and with the selling price for Independent fiction being Free to $2.99 that it is a tough time to be an author. And then there is VAT. That crazy tax is going to hurt ebook sellers, especially Independent authors selling overseas. It means price increases across the board for ebooks in those countries.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:05 PM   #5
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I think ebooks are getting to the point of saturating the market via Amazon. 3 years ago it was different, authors, especially Independents could make money selling ebooks. Yet we have so many free ebooks now, and with Overdrive and other sources, and with the selling price for Independent fiction being Free to $2.99 that it is a tough time to be an author. And then there is VAT. That crazy tax is going to hurt ebook sellers, especially Independent authors selling overseas. It means price increases across the board for ebooks in those countries.
It's going to help VPN providers. People get a VPN and go shopping in a country not charging VAT and you get lower eBook prices.
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:22 PM   #6
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Yet we have so many free ebooks now, and with Overdrive and other sources, and with the selling price for Independent fiction being Free to $2.99 that it is a tough time to be an author.s.
Maybe this is a good time for authors to start worrying more about creating a piece of art and less about the millions of dollars that will put them on a pedestal to be worshipped and treated like demigods?
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:11 PM   #7
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Maybe this is a good time for authors to start worrying more about creating a piece of art and less about the millions of dollars that will put them on a pedestal to be worshipped and treated like demigods?
I don't disagree. I think one had better be in writing for love of the art rather than money today. Yet I feel for those who need to, or are trying to make a living writing.
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Old 01-31-2015, 11:05 PM   #8
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I don't disagree. I think one had better be in writing for love of the art rather than money today. Yet I feel for those who need to, or are trying to make a living writing.
Honest skill assessment helps.
To make a living at anything from selling watermelons to mining ore to repairing equipment to writing... quality and quantity have to be combined.

Editors and proofreaders can help some with quality, but an author who can't crank out several books per year is unlikely to be able to give up their day job. A lot of my favorite authors have been people who not only told a good yarn, they cranked out six or more every year. Walter Gibson's output (not a perfect example, as he was inherantly wealthy) was just scary.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:14 AM   #9
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Honest skill assessment helps.
To make a living at anything from selling watermelons to mining ore to repairing equipment to writing... quality and quantity have to be combined.

Editors and proofreaders can help some with quality, but an author who can't crank out several books per year is unlikely to be able to give up their day job. A lot of my favorite authors have been people who not only told a good yarn, they cranked out six or more every year. Walter Gibson's output (not a perfect example, as he was inherantly wealthy) was just scary.
I agree, if an author wants to make a decent living just from writing, they have to be able to put out several books each year. There is too much else out there to read rather than waiting for a year or two to read the next book in a series.

We are no longer held hostage by the publishers waiting for the next release of a favorite author. We simply move on to someone else, and hope we still remember that author when they finally make the next release.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:28 PM   #10
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We are no longer held hostage by the publishers waiting for the next release of a favorite author. We simply move on to someone else, and hope we still remember that author when they finally make the next release.
Neither are the prolific authors limited by the publisher's schedules.

And there's a lot more of those than people realize: an experienced, disciplined author can easily put out 2000 (publishable) words a day which, working just 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, comes out to six 80k novels a year.

In the past, full time writers had to scramble to find venues for their output (pen names, short stories, essays, reviews, etc) but without those constraints can work as fast as their muses allow them. Satisfying the True Fans won't be hard, finding them will remain a challenge, though.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:09 PM   #11
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68% of Americans read less than 10 books a year. If authors started writing 6 books a year, statistics show people would not be buying or reading them anyway.

For the rest there is a strong possibility some would borrow from the library or buy second hand. Or now use a subscription service.

Authors need to find ways to create new readers. I'm not convinced publishing hundreds of books is the way.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:16 PM   #12
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68% of Americans read less than 10 books a year. If authors started writing 6 books a year, statistics show people would not be buying or reading them anyway.

For the rest there is a strong possibility some would borrow from the library or buy second hand. Or now use a subscription service.

Authors need to find ways to create new readers. I'm not convinced publishing hundreds of books is the way.
A fairly myopic statistic.
Yes, the people who don't read will continue to not read.

On the other hand, people who read a lot but primarily read within several genre will buy more if there is more. It is up to the author to identify a niche that is under served and meet that demand.

I often read two books a day on vacation, and a book every few days during the work week.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:30 PM   #13
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"[QUOTE=fjtorres;3037749]Neither are the prolific authors limited by the publisher's schedules.

And there's a lot more of those than people realize: an experienced, disciplined author can easily put out 2000 (publishable) words a day which, working just 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, comes out to six 80k novels a year."

I've written eight books. On a good day I can write one thousand, even two thousand words. But I need to review and revise these words later. And I certainly can't keep writing that quantity of words for more than three or four days in a row.

The type of industrial production that you're describing sounds like a recipe for intellectual suicide.

PS - Sorry - can't get the 'quote' facility to work.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:46 PM   #14
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68% of Americans read less than 10 books a year. If authors started writing 6 books a year, statistics show people would not be buying or reading them anyway.

For the rest there is a strong possibility some would borrow from the library or buy second hand. Or now use a subscription service.

Authors need to find ways to create new readers. I'm not convinced publishing hundreds of books is the way.
I agree. The ebook market is flooded with fiction. Writing more books solves nothing but keeping a writer busy.
As a reader, I have more ebooks than I could ever read right now. Even free ebooks don't interest me as they once did. I buy fewer ebooks now. With so many sources of entertainment books are losing readers. It is not like it was 40 years ago with crappy Television, few channels, no video games, no Internet for the masses. I honestly worry for the future of books, TV series and movies have largely become the "new books". And I say that as someone who loves books. I see a niche market for fewer and fewer readers not far down the road.
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:23 PM   #15
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Writing more books solves nothing but keeping a writer busy.
As a reader, I have more ebooks than I could ever read right now.
The validity of this depends (in its entirety) on whether or not the writer in question can identify and fill an under served niche.
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