A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Free speech, literacy, and great books are also discussed. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
The Death Of Digital Books?
numbers don’t lie. Fewer e-books were
purchased in 2016 than in 2015, representing a three-year downward trend. This is great news for the book publishing
2013, some 242 million e-books were sold, according to Nielsen Book. Last year,
177 million e-books were sold, which, for the first time in four years, saw the
number of hardcover books exceed e-book unit sales (with 188 million).
by unit, account for 23% of all books sold, a huge chunk of a growing market,
but not quite the expected domination that digital was to have over print.
area e-books are weakest is juvenile non-fiction, where only 1 in 100 books
sold are e-books. That’s good. The longer and earlier we can get kids hooked
on print, the better. One in 10 juvenile
fiction and just 12% of adult non-fiction books sold are e-books. However, the battleground for supremacy
remains in adult fiction. Print leads
narrowly, 51% to 49%.
why is the e-book in danger? Rumors,
guesses, surveys, predictions, and research reveal any number of answers. Here’s what I believe:
prefer print and feel it is substantial vs. digital.
buy physical books as gifts more often than digital.
strain on the eyes leads people to escape to print.
e-books are still dirt cheap, they have gone up in price, and thus the digital
discount is narrowing to the point people will buy print.
indie bookstores are opening and people are returning to bookstores.
who read digital books get distracted more easily – they are a click away from
getting out of reading a book and thus take longer to read their books. And then they read fewer books as a result.
online content that’s free keeps people from buying e-books.
e-books are the rage for marketers but they are leading to people either not
buying the e-book or it inspires some to buy the print version.
promote printed books and still inspire people to read print.
the reason, I don’t care. When print
books rise-and digital falls – everyone wins – book publishers, authors,
bookstores, printers, readers, and society.
The paperless world may await us, but don’t tell that to book
lovers. They’ve made a choice, and more
and more are choosing printed books.
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