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Monday, March 21, 2011

Are E-Book's Surging Sales Damaging Print Sales?

I don't think so...at least not as much as you might think...The e-book sales are up 115% over last year and the print sales ARE down...but kind of negligibly.

Now don't get me wrong, e-books have had an impact, but I feel most of the e-book sales growth have actually come from new reader-consumers that have had their interest in reading tweaked for the first time by the new digital gadgets (and this is a great thing!).

Now there are all kinds of reasons for this downturn in print sales. The biggest and most overlooked one is the economy being in the dump (print books cost more)...But, I believe that printing, paper, binding, distribution, etc. are in for some tech improvements, also, that will lower their costs in the near future. This will be a boon for those that still prefer a physical, 3-dimensional book to curl up with.

Then, too, all the newly-awakened readers (you know, the tech-savvy and e-reader indoctrinated bots) might just want to jump into a 3-dimensional physicality in the future!

So, I'm predicting a print book resurge around the corner.

Audrey Watters of ReadWriteWeb.com has this to say:

E-Books Sales Up 115%, But Does It Come At the Expense of Print?

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its figures from January 2011 book sales, and the news echoes what we've come to expect: more readers are turning to e-books, and they're doing so in droves. In face, e-book sales have more than doubled since the same time last year. According to the AAP, e-book sales are up 115.8%, from $32.4 million to $69.9 million year-over-year.

But how does that impact the rest of the publishing industry? Do more e-book sales mean more books are being sold? Are e-readers and iPads engaging a new audience of readers (or at least book buyers)? Or are consumers simply making the switch from print to digital?

According to the AAP figures, the growth in e-book sales didn't save the industry from declining sales. But the drop in sales overall was small - just 1.9% - as total book sales across all platforms and across all categories fell from $821.5 million in January 2010 to $805.7 million in January of this year.

More interesting, however, the breakdown in those sales: the adult mass market paperback section fell the most, declining over 30%. Adult paperbacks dropped almost 20%. Adult hardcover sales fell 11%. Children's hardcover and paperback sales fell, too - 2% and 17.7% respectively. Altogether, the drop in sales of these two key elements of the publishing industry amounted to a $50 million decline.

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