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.