Comment to LinkedIn message about the article from the Atlantic Magazine The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead
A more in-depth discussion about these numbers is here: http://authorearnings.com/report/september-2015-author-earnings-report/ In short, they found:
“So far in 2015, the AAP’s reports have charted a progressive decline in both ebook sales and overall revenue for the AAP’s member publishers.”
“During that same period in 2015, Amazon’s overall ebook sales have continued to grow in both unit and dollar terms, fueled by a strong shift in consumer ebook purchasing behavior away from traditionally-published ebooks and toward indie-published- and Amazon-imprint-published ebooks.
These “non-traditionally-published” books now make up nearly 60% of all Kindle ebooks purchased in the US, and take in 40% of all consumer dollars spent on those ebooks.”
So, they conclude that the traditional publishers are losing market share, but that the independents are doing much better, and that actually, ebook publishing is higher than ever. What is happening is that people are turning away from the traditional publishers. The main publishers’ decision to raise prices hurt their sales seriously. People have found that they have a choice.
I love printed books, but I think we are living on borrowed time. The Google Books-Publishers agreement was not implemented, but if it had gone through and there was full access to all of Google Books–through libraries!–the information world would be completely different than it is now. If all of those Google Books were available electronically, it would have to hit circulation numbers somehow. I wonder how much?
Those scans in Google Books will be made available sooner or later, no matter how much the publishers want to stop people from accessing them. And that will be the moment of real change. I hope libraries will be up to the challenge.