E-book Sales Growth Showing a Rapid Decline

CommanderFrank

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The e-book digital revolution may have run its course if sales figures are showing a true picture of decline in both e-books and e-book readers. Digital books are still affecting the sales of printed books, taking a 25% share, but analysts predicted e-book dominance with the early-on meteoric rise of e-book sales.

The AAP findings are backed up by a remarkable new Nielsen report indicating that worldwide e-book sales actually declined slightly in the first quarter from year-earlier levels — something that would have seemed inconceivable a couple of years ago
 

heatlesssun

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Interesting. Personally I only buy eBooks, paper books take up too much space. However I simply don't buy as many books any more. Most of the books I used to by were technical books. With my subscription to Safari Books online I have access to thousands of technical books with new titles coming online pretty much at the same time as print, and some of the material never reaches print or has early access to drafts before print.
 

Bleedblue12345

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Overdrive eBooks from local library + Amazon Prime + local library + university library = Never shelling out $30 for a new book (or $10 for an eBook) .... ever
 

percydaman

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I generally read alot. 99% of it is ebooks. But over the last several months, I haven't really been able to find squat I'm interested in reading.
 

achensherd

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I'd be more into e-books if they were DRM-less like MP3s and cheaper. Heck, I'd even do with just cheaper a la games on Steam.
 

Parmenides

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I'm getting a little tired of reading on screens I do it all day nonstop. And I like writing in books too.
 

readeh

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Got the kindle paperwhite from my girlfriend last Christmas and i've been using it a lot, but the problem is the price of e-books! I go on Amazon and find the books i want for 3-4 bucks while the e-books are 8-10 bucks.. Doesn't make any sense.
 

Ranulfo

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I tend to prefer paper books for most subjects. Prices for most e-books are too high for me, especially if I have to deal with various DRM issues. I see amazon and overstock are having a pricing war lately over paper books too.
 

BladeVenom

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DRM and they cost as much as real books. They are currently not a good value.
 

SmokeRngs

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DRM and they cost as much as real books. They are currently not a good value.

This is likely the main problem ebooks are running into. There is no reason at all that ebooks should cost the same as a physical copy for obvious reasons.

Another problem is DRM. DRM adds an unneeded cost and puts limits on the ebooks which you don't have with traditional books. It has been quite a while since I last looked up anything on it but one publisher, Baen books, does not use DRM and in general has lower prices on ebooks through its own site than other ebook sellers. Also, at least some of the authors who publish and sell ebooks through Baen actually receive a higher percentage of each ebook sold than other authors with other publishers. Additionally, Baen has said that there has been no noticeable reduction in sales based on the lack of DRM on the ebooks they sell.

I personally have ebooks and traditional physical books and enjoy both. There are definitely times and places I prefer reading from an ebook which I mostly do using my phone and there are times I prefer a physical copy to read from. Part of this depends on what I'm doing and where I'm at. It's much easier for me to pull out my phone and start reading an ebook on it than it is to carry around a physical book and I have a nice library of books to choose from which takes up no physical space and goes wherever I do. A personal downside to ebooks is the fact that I can flip back and forth through pages in a physical book to find something I may want to re-read much easier than I can do in an ebook. Yes, I can put a bookmark or a note or some type of annotation with an ebook in most cases but that does no good when I don't know at the time that I would want to quickly and easily come back to that spot.

I do think that one of the major reasons for the decline in sales at the moment is due to the novelty of ebooks wearing off for the moment. However, the major problems of price and DRM are likely a bigger reason for slower adoption in the long run. None of the ebooks I have have any sort of DRM which has been a conscious decision of my own. It allows me to easily transfer the ebooks to any device I decide to read them from assuming the device I use can read the format the ebooks are in. If all ebook publishers and retailers would drop DRM and the prices I would predict an upsurge in ebook sales again and likely good growth over the long run.
 

kbrickley

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Cost is probably part of the issue ... the other is time ... with the modern work schedule, exercise, cooking, Netflix, gaming, etc there isn't as much time to just sit and read ... my consumption has switched from reading books (physical or ebook) to audio books since they are compatible with multitasking (hard to read a book while I bike to work or spend an hour on the treadmill ... easy to listen to an audio book) ;)

I think that e-readers still have lots of possibilities in the comic and magazine sector though ... those costs are in line (or cheaper than print) and the bigger e-readers are perfect for reading magazines and comics :cool:
 

Megalith

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My real problem with e-books is that they have the nerve to charge full price and not even include a high-quality version of the cover. Graphics in e-books always look like ass.
 

Babbster

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A decline in e-book reader sales isn't surprising at all. Once people have a device that makes them happy, why would they buy another one? Of course, it also doesn't take into account tablet sales where there is a ton of e-book reading going on (a good 30% of my Nexus 7's use is for that purpose).

A decline in e-book sales seems kind of inevitable, too. I'm sure that every time a reader gets sold to a first-time user a bunch of books immediately get purchased. When I bought readers for my mom and dad, and for the next birthdays after, I got them gift certificates to go along with them - otherwise, it's like giving the gift of a bill for the e-books they'd have to buy. ;)

I'll get another e-ink reader when they perfect color and, if they're smart, enter into a partnership with comic book companies. I still love e-ink for the power advantage over LCD but at the moment I only carry my tablet because sometimes I really want to read a few comics.
 

ManofGod

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I think the only ebook I ever read was on a Sony Palm based device years ago. Although I could do so on my Windows 8 tablet, (When my dead SSD is replaced by Mushkin anyways), I prefer physical books instead.
 

Koolthulu

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I'd be more into e-books if they were DRM-less like MP3s and cheaper. Heck, I'd even do with just cheaper a la games on Steam.

Yeah, there is no reason for an ebook to cost anywhere near what a printed book does. If you look around Amazon you'll even see examples of the ebook costing MORE than the printed book. People may be willing to pay a premium for something when it's new, but ebooks are now common enough that people want them cheap.

And DRM really needs to go. I should be able to have all my ebooks under one app, no matter where I bought it.
 

d_stilgar

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DRM and they cost as much as real books. They are currently not a good value.

Exactly why I don't love e-books. I would buy e-comics but the cost more. A lot more! And I can't resell them, so what's the point? I would trade no resell for a great price (steam anyone?) but other than not having the books take up space in my house I don't see a strength for e-books.
 

Hornet

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Recently I was looking for a book One Universe, the ebook version cost $40 while the hardcover cost $28 on Amazon.com. Of course I picked the hardcover version.
 

SDplus

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In Sweden only new releases and Swedish authors books become E-books. The entire book-industry here is refusing to make this transition easy. Bookstores are worried out of their minds of going the record industry's fate. Translated books are actually rare, and apparently this is also a problem as translators refuse to give up even a little profit on a per book sale which would keep E-book prices unacceptably high. So basically, if I want to read an E-book series that I have missed of for example Stephen Donaldson. Even though it is available as new print and even sound-books, I cannot get it on E-book format in Swedish. I have a list of 100 books that I would purchase if it becomes available, all of which is available as E-books in all other scandinavian languages and most other european languages, it is still impossible to get in Swedish... No sales is obviously better than cheap sales according to the Swedish book-industry. And I simply took the stance that I refuse to buy any paper-book from the day I got my E-reader.
 

kbrickley

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Recently I was looking for a book One Universe, the ebook version cost $40 while the hardcover cost $28 on Amazon.com. Of course I picked the hardcover version.

I am not sure that book is the best example. I can't even find it in ebook format on the major sites (including Amazon). It is clear the publisher only wants it sold in hardback format for now and any other purchasing options would likely reflect that in their pricing or limited availability ;)
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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I think you're just seeing a large shift to audio books as it becomes more practical to digitally package them in a set of files that someone can actually download. People aren't educated enough or have enough focus to actually read anymore. They want to half pay attention to someone talking to them in audio book format while they drive somewhere so they can sound like they're well-read and smart even though they don't actually have the mental capacity necessary for literacy.
 

kbrickley

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I think you're just seeing a large shift to audio books as it becomes more practical to digitally package them in a set of files that someone can actually download. People aren't educated enough or have enough focus to actually read anymore. They want to half pay attention to someone talking to them in audio book format while they drive somewhere so they can sound like they're well-read and smart even though they don't actually have the mental capacity necessary for literacy.

Hey now ... don't you go dissing on my audio books Unc :p ... devoting the 48 hours to listen to The Stand is no small achievement ... I am still trying to psych myself up for the 65 hours required to listen to Atlas Shrugged ... besides the 21 hour full cast recording of Dune is actually superior to the adaptations of the novel so far (even the excellent SyFy miniseries) :cool:
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Hey now ... don't you go dissing on my audio books Unc :p ... devoting the 48 hours to listen to The Stand is no small achievement ... I am still trying to psych myself up for the 65 hours required to listen to Atlas Shrugged ... besides the 21 hour full cast recording of Dune is actually superior to the adaptations of the novel so far (even the excellent SyFy miniseries) :cool:

It'd prolly be faster to read them. I mean, I can understand someone with vision problems listening to an audio book, but they only encourage illiteracy for everyone else. I'm pretty sure I can get away with saying that since, if I mention to your cat, who is dictating this to you, that we'll totally offer bribes in the form of Fancy Feast, the fact that I'm still making fun of you for not being able to read will be omitted from what you're told I said. :p
 

Kuraudo

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A lot of indy authors are still making money and they typically have zero DRM. Granted, it's not as much as the initial ebook wave, but it's steady.
 

Trekari

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I've stopped buying eBooks until the DRM is gone.

For the same price, I can buy a PHYSICAL book that I can loan out to my buddies after I'm done reading it so that they can enjoy it as well.
 

Nanan

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As others have said, the e-book price is just too high, I can pick up 2-3 paperbacks for the price of a single e-book and when I am done sell them back to half price books or donate them to a school or library... neither of which can I do with an e-book.
 

Jagger100

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Most e-ink has failed to deliver. Most look faded to me which makes them as hard on the eyes on a long read as any tablet.

The proprietary formats are maddening. Just the hassle and disarray. They also prevent you from constructing a unified virtual library which would be some people's cup of tea.
 

Kendrak

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I've been getting a bunch of the self published scifi novels on amazon in the last couple months.

$2.99 a book and helping someone get started, yes please.

(Not to mention some are quite good reads)
 

Demon10000

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As others have said, the e-book price is just too high, I can pick up 2-3 paperbacks for the price of a single e-book and when I am done sell them back to half price books or donate them to a school or library... neither of which can I do with an e-book.

If e-Books were closer to $5-6 a book, I would buy it. They should be much cheaper than a hardcover, and even cheaper than a paperback!

I have a few that I picked up because of sales, but when I go looking for something, it usually isn't on sale. Instead of e-books, I've been buying used copies. That way I can share it with my wife and then we just toss it in a box to go to goodwill.
 

DarthV

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Most e-ink has failed to deliver. Most look faded to me which makes them as hard on the eyes on a long read as any tablet.

You need to try a different e-ink device then. Really enjoying my new Kobo Aura HD. Being able to adjust the font weight is awesome!
 

conscript

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yep, when the costliest ebook way 9.99, I'd buy them even if I already had the print version...but now the cost is getting ridiculous, often as much, sometimes more than the print version (thanks Apple!). I just stopped reading, that will show them!
 

Outamyhead

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I prefer physical copies of books I'm reading, E-books just don't work for me.
 

guitarguy6

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I prefer reading e-books but there's no way I'll pay the same or more for an e-book over a printed copy. Perhaps people are tired of being ripped off and are just pirating the ebooks they want to read.
 

Uvaman

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I was a few months away from getting a kindle (looking for disposable income, wanted the big one), the only reason I was going to do so was because e-books had a discount factor VS paper... it all changed in a short period of time, and I said screw it, aint getting any, and screw ebooks altogether.. little did I know then, apple was behind this mess.
 

DeathCloud

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I'm getting a little tired of reading on screens I do it all day nonstop. And I like writing in books too.

yep. I tried the ebook thing and its ok but for me there is nothing like a real book. Hell I even miss the texture and that sweet, sweet new book smell :D
 

LeninGHOLA

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I buy ebooks and paper books in roughly equal quantities. ebooks work better on vacation when packing light, and paper books work just fine sitting on the couch at home with a glass of scotch and a monocle.
 

bazylik

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I love my nook, I'm not to worried about DRM.. but the prices, especially the new releases that I find interesting I priced through the roof so no buy from me.. even if an ebook is 2 or 3 years old it doesn't really come down in price like their paper counterpart.
 
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