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Old 08-15-2013, 06:47 AM   #1
Ken.Hagdal
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The flattening of e-book sales

Situation in the US
http://www.roughtype.com/?p=3590

And global perspective
http://www.publishingtechnology.com/...lsen-research/
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:12 AM   #2
meeera
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1. We may be discovering that e-books are well suited to some types of books (like genre fiction) but not well suited to other types (like nonfiction and literary fiction)
*squints*

*reads again*

*completely fails to make sense of why F/SF, romance, and crime are suited to ebook format, while litfic isn't*
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:26 AM   #3
mrscoach
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http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20.../#.Ugysa59OlFo
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:41 AM   #4
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6. E-book prices have not fallen the way many expected. There’s not a big price difference between an e-book and a paperback. (It’s possible, suggests one industry analyst, that Amazon is seeing a plateau in e-book sales and so is less motivated to take a loss on them for strategic reasons.)
...and whose fault is that?
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:56 AM   #5
elcreative
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
*squints*

*reads again*

*completely fails to make sense of why F/SF, romance, and crime are suited to ebook format, while litfic isn't*
Easy... the litfic snobs can only read on hand-laid paper lovingly caressed by artisan printers whereas us peasants, reading genre fiction (and litfic) for our enjoyment, can be relegated to using gadgets for our word snuffling...
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:06 AM   #6
TadW
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So what? Even if ebook sales go flat, they are already exceptionally high. All this doom and gloom... must be quite suitable for some publishers who never wanted ebooks to succeed.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
Mivo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
*completely fails to make sense of why F/SF, romance, and crime are suited to ebook format, while litfic isn't*
Our low brows restrict the field of vision, so small-sized e-readers work well for us.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #8
gweeks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
*squints*

*reads again*

*completely fails to make sense of why F/SF, romance, and crime are suited to ebook format, while litfic isn't*
Because the purpose of most litfic books is to put on a shelf to show visitors how well read you are? The people who actually read them will buy them in any format.

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Old 08-15-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
crich70
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I think it's a mixture of things myself. First of all the economy isn't exactly the best and there is the cost of having an internet connection as well as the cost of the actual ebook purchase. And of course the publishers are creating a self-fulfilling prophesy I think as well in that they are reluctant to do as much to promote ebooks as they could. I mean back in 1984 for example Apple had it's "1984" commercial that only played once (during the superbowl) and they spent a million bucks on that. Surely book publishers could do something similar in cost to promote ebooks (though not for a one time only ad) if they wanted to. I mean if an author like J.K. Rowling can make as much as they do on books as an author then surely the publisher isn't hurting for money either. But I haven't seen any big promotional ads for ebooks being put up anywhere. It's like ebooks are traditional publisher's dirty little secret or something. That and often ebooks are priced just as high (if not higher) than paper books are. The insubstantial nature of ebooks (which are just data) works against that. If publishers would lower the prices and promote their ebook catalogs more they might be surprised how many would be sold.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
Ken.Hagdal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscoach View Post
Thank you for the link.

I think there's some truth on both sides. The apparent slowing down of ebook growth reported by traditional publishers does fail to factor in the rise of independently published books. On the other hand, the still strong share(s) of print books show that some readers are not willing to go digital. We're likely to have the various formats coexisting for quite a few years.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:56 AM   #11
usuallee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
*squints*

*reads again*

*completely fails to make sense of why F/SF, romance, and crime are suited to ebook format, while litfic isn't*

Agreed. Even for nonfiction. I bought a lengthy nonfiction ebook on the American Revolution recently, and it's fine. Maybe the maps are a little fuzzy, but not having to lug a large doorstop around makes up for it. And the same point mentions that ebooks may be more suited to reading on a plane and be less well suited to reading while laying on the couch than printed books. Which makes no sense. In fact, the exact opposite is true because one is instructed to turn off electronic gadgets during take offs and landings. On the couch or in bed, my Paperwhite is more comfortable to hold and read than any book.

I can see where the article is coming from though. Personally I have found myself sort of drifting back into buying printed books again, they do have their charms. Although of course I continue to buy lots of ebooks.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:10 AM   #12
Rhialto
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Could it also be that in the early days of ebooks heavy readers just bought ebooks from Amazon on their Kindles and from Apple on their iPads? Now, with the maturing of the ebook readership/market, such voracious readers are better informed on the wider availability of free and legal ebooks from sites such as Gutenberg and MobileRead, as well as illegal books from other sites, and have reduced ebook purchases? Other factors include wider adoption of Calibre and other format conversion tools and associated DRM removal mechanisms. As Ken says, self-publishing and cheap/free ebooks is probably a factor too. Plus library/overdrive ebook lending.

An analogy would be that centuries ago, in the early days of print books there were no second hand book shops, so all books had to be purchased new. Nowadays there is a glut of second hand paper books, particularly as some readers dump their physical books for ebooks, and I am seeing prices in used bookstores fall to the point where I have had my donations to such stores declined for lack of space. Since ebook files never wear out and publically available collections are increasing in number and size, the only reason to buy them is to obtain the very latest publication.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #13
supermighty
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For any book that is mostly text I will always prefer the ebook version. I'll buy a paper book if I need to flip through it fast, like a research book, or there is no ebook version available.

I think a lot of early adopters have bought into the ebook ecosystem, so there isn't too much explosive growth to be had. But there is still growth. Ebooks are still young. The process is still young. There is still space to make it easier to buy and use ebooks. That's where growth will come in. When you an make it super easy for the casual reader to buy an ebook on a whim.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theArticle
4. The early buyers of e-readers quickly filled them with lots of books, most of which have not been read. The motivation to buy more e-books may be dissipating as a result. Novelty fades.
Tell that to the people in the addiction thread, cough, pdurrant, cough...

My ebook purchases are down this year simply because the reading challenge I gave myself did not lend itself to ebook purchasing very well due to no ebook availability and cost in some cases. Such is life. Next year, when I read some more available options that might change.

Of course, I'm not even a rounding error in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:38 AM   #15
WillysJeepMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
*squints*

*reads again*

*completely fails to make sense of why F/SF, romance, and crime are suited to ebook format, while litfic isn't*
It's not too difficult to figure out... those genres are generally for less discerning readers who happen to disproportionately own ebook readers. They're the literary equivalent of those who frequent Old Country Buffet. In other words, where quantity is of higher value than quality.
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