According to Nielsen, book sales have risen again in 2015, after dropping in 2012. But the real question is why? Several articles published in the last week include charts showing that book sales have risen and include data that sales of eReader devices have dropped off, but I am left wondering if it has more to do with people having a bit more money than a renewed interest in the printed word. And as for eReader device sales dropping off–eventually they have to, right? Once a family of four has six or seven eReader devices, they really don’t need to upgrade to the latest and greatest eReader every year, do they? In my profession as an eBook formatter, I own no less than seven eReader devices, including three Kindle Fires. But which device do I prefer for reading? My old black-and-white Kindle that I bought a few years ago–it’s lightweight, easy on the eyes, and convenient. And until I manage to sit on it, I won’t be buying another one for my personal use. I tend to think there are others who must agree with me, and remain unimpressed by all the naysayers claiming the end of the digital word!
Am I right? That remains to be seen, but history tells us that new technology is infrequently completely abandoned once it gains a toehold–it just gets better.
Flipkart, which has been selling eBooks in the Indian market since 2012, has decided to stop selling eBooks because the market just isn’t there in that country, where the sale of physical books still dominates. Existing customers will be serviced by Canada’s Kobo, according to an article by thetechportal.in.
Barnes & Noble reported a loss of $39.2 million in the third quarter this year, as it continues its struggle to stay in the book business, rather than the toys and art supply business… or perhaps they really do want to just become a game store. What does this mean for authors? Focus on those Kindle sales!
Read more at deadline.com.
Oyster, an eBook subscription service that allowed subscribers access to unlimited books for a low monthly fee, is set to close in the near future due to resistance from publishers, who figure it’s a money-losing proposition for them. They face additional competition from industry-giant Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. Read more at ft.com.
In a major win for Amazon, Apple lost its appeal in federal court over the anti-trust lawsuit. Apple conspired with big publishers to price-fix eBooks. Read more about it at latimes.com.
Nook sales are down again as Barnes & Noble continues its struggle to succeed in the eBook market. Read more about it at ndtv.com.
For those authors who choose to participate in Kindle Select, the payment arrangement is changing. Instead of paying based on the number of times a book is borrowed, they will now pay based on how many pages are read. Some say this means you should write longer books in order to earn more… But this doesn’t take into account reader interest—if a reader isn’t interested continuing to read a lengthy but boring book, she is likely to just return it and borrow a new one. So what this means, to me, is that you should write more interesting books which keep the reader engaged to the very end!
Sony is giving up on the eBook market in North America, and transferring all of its clients to Kobo in March 2014. Could this provide the extra boost that Kobo needs to become a major player? We’ll see!
Read more about this at theverge.com.
The below-linked article summarizes the report Consumer Attitudes Towards Ebook Reading and presents slightly different data than my clients have anecdotally reported for their sales (most say that their sales come almost exclusively from Amazon, with virtually (or literally!) no sales elsewhere). It gives Amazon (including both the website and the app) as the clear leader with 67% of the market share, followed by “all other sources” at 12.8%, Barnes & Noble at 11.8, and Apple (the iTunes bookstore) at 8.2%.
View the article at digitalbookworld.com.
There have been a number of articles about Adweek’s article which claimed that “the e-reader business is shrinking,” and I was going to post a link mocking it, but then I read this article, someone beat me to it.
Read the article at examiner.com.