1. jamesE
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    jamesE Member

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    What percent of books sold today are ebooks

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by jamesE, Oct 27, 2011.

    Please provide a reliable source. Thanks!


    I would like to know about fiction, and if you can break it down more, for YA fantasy novels. What percent of YA fantasy novels sold are ebooks?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you really need to do your own research on this... all it takes is a bit of googling...
     
  3. jamesE
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    jamesE Member

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    I've done more than a bit of googleing already, thanks. I have yet to reach clarity on this......

    (i got confusing figures, and conflicting reports (ie one source said 30% are ebooks, another said < 1%)
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    In your post on the thread about self-publishing and reputation, you seem to be equating "ebooks" with "self-published ebooks". Traditional publishers also publish plenty of ebooks; the vast majority of ebooks sold are, I'd bet, not self-published. Perhaps it's the difference in definition that's resulting in the difference in percentages in your research.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    good point, cf...

    try refining your google searches more, james...
     
  6. jamesE
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    jamesE Member

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    these may be relevant:

    http://paidcontent.org/article/419-new-stats-book-publishing-industry-is-growing-with-e-books-up-over-1000/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/technology/20amazon.html?_r=1

    According to the times article its around 14% of books sold.

    I don't know if that includes data from 2011. And i don't know if short stories and poetry are counted as books here.

    In any case, revenue from ebooks is much less than 14%, since ebooks are generally much less expensive than their print book counterparts.

    And there is no doubt that over the next several years that number (% of books that are ebooks) will rise dramatically
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Again, are you talking about self-published ebooks or ebooks in general? Most of the ebooks that I see cost about as much as the print edition of the same book. There can be a bit of a discount, but I wouldn't say that they're much less expensive.

    ChickenFreak
     
  8. jamesE
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    jamesE Member

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    I am talking about both varieties -- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128635547
    http://lifehacker.com/5708494/when-ebooks-are-more-and-less-cost-effective

    Anyway, it just depends on the book. Generally, ebooks published by publishers are priced higher than those self published (because they don't want ebooks to seem attractive to people). But overall, when taking into account all kinds of ebooks, ebooks are priced much lower than print books, on average.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I doubt that the pricing has anything to do with a desire to undermine ebooks - I'm sure that the pricing is so that the publisher can make money from publishing the book. They're not going to stay in business for long if they make no money. :)

    Keep in mind that while each individual copy of an ebook may cost very little, it certainly cost plenty of money to get that book published - editors, designers, marketers, advertisers, etc., all expect to get paid, as does the author. The cost of a book is not all about the price of ink and paper and shipping, and eliminating the ink and paper and shipping does not make the book free.

    (Edited to add: I see that one of the links compares the sales of ebooks with the sales of hardcover books. If you're comparing the price of ebooks with the price of hardcovers, yes, of course ebooks are cheaper. I consider the price of a book to be the softcover price. The hardcover price is the fine you pay for being too impatient to wait for the softcover. :))

    ChickenFreak
     
  10. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    From my own experience with my first novel, it's sold about 55/45, with far more print books being sold initially, but in the last 8 months, the ebooks have been about 3/4 of the sales, so that may flip. My second novel is being released soon. It will be interesting to see if it is the same pattern, or if ebooks will immediately be a larger % of the sales.
     
  11. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    Well put.

    I would love to see people who self-publish put as much time as traditional publishers into editing, formating, cover art and the other aspects that make a book good. Of course if they did they would probably want to charge a little more for their e-published book because of the time and expense in producing it.
     
  12. guymark
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    guymark New Member

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    I am not sure if there is an easy answer to this one - it varies from country to country and what exactly is being included - for example hardback books, reference books, children stories. One thought provoking snippet of information for you though is from Amazon who stated early in 2011 that the last two months of 2010 resulted in MORE electronic book sales for them, than paperback book sales.

    I guess it depends on the sort of book you have in mind - a "Repair Your Car" manual might well be more popular as a physical book - as it will be more resilient to oil, dropped spanners and rough handling than a "kindle". On the other hand, if you are thinking about "light reading" novels, then in light of the comment from Amazon, I would reckon "over 50%" may be a starting point.
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    As of about six months ago Amazon.com announced it was selling more ebooks than print books.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    short stories and poems by themselves are not 'books'... though a collection of same can be published as a book...
     
  15. jamesE
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    jamesE Member

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    It's funny we're having these conversations now about self publishing now, when in just a few years virtually everyone will be self publishing, and we will look back at this and laugh.

    "Given the ongoing demise of bricks-and-mortar bookstores with the closure of major chains like Borders, Angus & Robertson, Hughes & Hughes and others, it is predicted that within three years, 75% of books will be sold online (50% as ebooks and 25% as printed books). Only 25% of books will be sold in physical bookstores (down from 75% today)." -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_publishing#Marketing_.26_Promotion (and many other sources)

    Yes, some of those will be published by trad publishers. But the vast majority won't.
     
  16. Jefferson27
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    "while e-book revenue for trade publishers increased by 1274 percent year on year. And the data does not even account for the e-book sales surge in 2011."

    And the trend just keeps going.

    http://paidcontent.org/article/419-e-book-sales-now-make-up-21-of-hachette-sales-in-u.s.-9-in-uk/

    http://www.ecolibris.net/ebooks.asp

    And as in some of the credible articles already posted here(or can be found on the web) and also as people here have noted, in popular areas and during certain times recently ebooks have been outselling paper books. In general over the last few years paper books have been shrinking in sales and ebooks have grown like said 1274 percent. That's a lot for those not good in numbers.

    The shift from paper books to ebooks is an undeniable shifting of the market. And while some authors and avid readers have strong personal feelings one way or another about this shift and thus are biased towards certain numbers, from the business side of the industry, there is no ambiguity about it.

    Over different articles, the revenue numbers of US sales that ebooks has represented over last three years in chronological has been, 3%, 8%, 21% and is continuing to grow as we speak. Some predict ebooks will begin outselling paper books as soon as within the next three years, some not until 2020. However, it is a question of when, not if.
     
  17. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    As I mentioned in the other thread where you posted this comment, ebooks are not always self-published. It's a format, not a publishing method. So the success of e-publishing does not equate with a take-over of self-publishing.
     
  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This statement is the core of your argument, and the quote that you provide does not support it. Do you have any support for it?

    I want to make it clear: I would _like_ a world where an independent author who either possesses, or knows how to hire, the skills required for publishing a professional-looking and -reading book, could get that book to sell. We do not live in that world. Until the "winnowing" problem is solved, so that prospective readers no longer have to consider a hundred or a thousand unreadably amateur works before they find one worth reading, we will not live in that world. How do you see that problem being solved?
     

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