eBook Sales Statistics, Kindle and Upcoming Events


If you follow these things you are probably aware that electronic publishing is here to stay. Even a few years ago, eBooks were more of a fad than a fact of life.

The International Digital Publishing Forum (http://idpf.org/about-us/industry-statistics), working with the Association of American Publishers (http://www.publishers.org), collects quarterly statistics on quarterly US trade retail eBook sales.

The first quarter of 2002 saw sales of eBooks in the United States hit $1,556,499. In the third quarter of 2010, sales reached $119,700,000. At the end of October, 2010 (the first month of the fourth quarter) sales were $40,700,000.

If you’re a writer and don’t publish in digital format, you are missing the boat.

Let’s take a brief look at the Kindle eBook reader sales. In January of this year, Ben Patterson, a technology blogger for Yahoo! News, wrote: “Barely six months after crowing that its Kindle e-books were outselling its selection of hardcover books, Amazon has announced that sales of Kindle titles are now outpacing paperbacks, as well.”

It’s not that people are fed up with carrying around paperbacks or hardbacks; Some few probably are. It’s a matter of cost. Print and publishing costs are rising and there is no end in sight. But readers love to read and if they can no longer afford to buy a hard copy of a book they can surely afford a Kindle, or Nook or whatever and then pay a lot less for their favorite genre.

Readers, people who cannot imagine not having book with them, are shocked and astonished at the incredible number of people who simply do not read. There are a lot of them in the Baby Boomer generation. Many young people in their twenties and thirties get their entertainment from from TV or magazines or the Web, and the upcoming generation are far more involved in PlayStations, X-Boxes and texting.With the current generation Physical books are quickly becoming a niche market.

Book sales just ain’t what they used to be. And as I mentioned earlier, they never will be. Paperbacks and hardbacks are costly to print, costly to store and ship and costly to stock on precious bookstore shelves. In an environment where discretionary spending is limited to the pocket change on your dresser, books take a back seat to orange juice and Kleenex.

Memorial Day weekend,  28, 29, & 30 May, is going to be a very busy one for me this year. On Saturday the 28th, I will be signing books at The Book Loft, 214 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida, between 1:00 and 4:00.

On Sunday and Monday I will be at the 23rd Annual Memorial Day Riverfest in Green Cove Springs, Florida. I don’t yet have the lot number for my booth, or even directions to where in the festival I will be located. But this is a great event with lots of entertainment and it’s a nice place to walk around. But do stop by and say hello.

Have a great week.


About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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