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Old 10-16-2017, 08:20 AM   #1
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eBook sales are down 17%

This morning's Wall Street Journal reports from the Frankfurt Book Fair that eBook sales are down 17% from last year, and that print is making a comeback.

No reason is offered for the drop in eBook sales. Any thoughts?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/book-pu...ics-1507983856
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:47 AM   #2
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Now I see that one online reader believes that the 17% figure does not reflect the Kindle Unlimited readings. The authors are paid for these, but they are not counted as sales.
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:53 AM   #3
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I was just reading about this on The Digital Reader
The Publishing Industry Thinks Facebook and Netflix Are Doomed

The publishing industry continues to insist that "screen fatigue" is causing e-book sales to flag. It certainly has nothing to do with high prices.

As you can tell by the title, the article debunks "screen fatigue" by pointing out that other screen intensive entertainment is flourishing.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:27 AM   #4
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The problem is that people read eBooks because of the lower prices. But since the publishers want the eBook prices to be high, people aren't buying. There's a lot of people who use Overdrive and those do not count as sales.
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:24 AM   #5
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If they are only looking at traditional publishers then that's not accurate either. I read MM Romance and that genre is almost entirely ebook. Print does exist but it is prohibitively expensive, usually at over double the cost of an ebook.
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjenkins View Post
I was just reading about this on The Digital Reader
The Publishing Industry Thinks Facebook and Netflix Are Doomed

The publishing industry continues to insist that "screen fatigue" is causing e-book sales to flag. It certainly has nothing to do with high prices.

As you can tell by the title, the article debunks "screen fatigue" by pointing out that other screen intensive entertainment is flourishing.
The publishing industry is delusional as usual!
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:35 AM   #7
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If I had to read on that old Sony ebook reader, which is around 7-8 years old, I think I would get fatigued, too!

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Old 10-16-2017, 11:37 AM   #8
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"Orange fatigue" has upset the orange-cart. As a result apples are making a comeback. Film on the latest apples to oranges comparisons at eleven.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The problem is that people read eBooks because of the lower prices. But since the publishers want the eBook prices to be high, people aren't buying. There's a lot of people who use Overdrive and those do not count as sales.
This. There's a book I'd like about an artist, it's available in paperback (new on Amazon at $10.09) for less than HALF the price of the Kindle ebook edition at $23.99!

I don't really want the print copy because it would be tough on my eyes to read, but I'm certainly reluctant to pay $23.99 for digital. If the ebook cost similar to the print copy, I'd have purchased already.

EDIT: The hardcover edition may be out of print, at least it is not currently available from Amazon, only third party sellers. That's why the comparison between paperback and digital, those are what is available from Amazon directly.

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Last edited by graycyn; 10-16-2017 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:15 PM   #10
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Kindle Unlimited, Overdrive, Freading, Hoopla, Project Gutenberg, Mobileread

All sources of eBooks that don't get counted (I think). And probably more.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Kindle Unlimited, Overdrive, Freading, Hoopla, Project Gutenberg, Mobileread

All sources of eBooks that don't get counted (I think). And probably more.
Smashwords, anyone not associated with the big 5.

Interesting side note: that is the exact same percentage they gave either last year or the year before.
Me thinks they are pulling the number out of the Jolly Green Giant's hat.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:42 PM   #12
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Smashwords, anyone not associated with the big 5.

Interesting side note: that is the exact same percentage they gave either last year or the year before.
Me thinks they are pulling the number out of the Jolly Green Giant's hat.
Personally, I think they are pulling these numbers out their ass. Most eBook sales numbers are brown and stinky.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drjenkins View Post
I was just reading about this on The Digital Reader
The Publishing Industry Thinks Facebook and Netflix Are Doomed

The publishing industry continues to insist that "screen fatigue" is causing e-book sales to flag. It certainly has nothing to do with high prices.

As you can tell by the title, the article debunks "screen fatigue" by pointing out that other screen intensive entertainment is flourishing.
Screen fatigue is one of the reasons I've largely gone back to paper books. After I finish work and staring at a computer screen all day, it's nice to pick up some paper and get reading. I've also stopped picking up a tablet or ereader first thing in the morning, reaching for a printed book instead.

I feel as though it's helped me focus better on what's in front of me, rather than diving down the rabbit hole of information that is the web. I've read far more books in the last year and more of paper books than I did the previous three years electronically.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:51 PM   #14
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Kindle Unlimited, Overdrive, Freading, Hoopla, Project Gutenberg, Mobileread
Yet how many people read those?

I worked at a very large european publishing house for a couple of months, and I was told during training that it comes from the fact that for the price of the book, it doesnt really matter if something is physically printed or not. Printing costs are a negligible factor in the costs of books and magazines.

Yet the reader doesnt know or understand it, so they expect a lower price from ebooks.

Also, reader research at that publisher determined that people have an emotional tie to paper; they prefer physical over digital because of the feeling, the smell, the appearance of the printing, etc...

Also, ereader sales have been in the drain for years, and ebook sales didnt show the same figures because they were compensated by the growth in tablets. Perhaps people dont enjoy reading on tablets? If so, I can understand why.

Last edited by Dutchbook; 10-16-2017 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Added quote for clarity
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by drjenkins View Post

The publishing industry continues to insist that "screen fatigue" is causing e-book sales to flag. It certainly has nothing to do with high prices.

As you can tell by the title, the article debunks "screen fatigue" by pointing out that other screen intensive entertainment is flourishing.
I, like everyone else here, think the decline in ebook sales is due to the pricing, but I don't think you can claim that screen fatigue can't be a factor because screen use is higher than ever. Passively binge watching Netflix or scrolling through your Twitter feed and reading a book require completely different levels of concentration and engagement. The more time and energy spent on one, the less remain for the other. I think that is partly the appeal of dedicated e-readers -- they lessen the distractions.
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