Friday, 9 March 2012

E-book sales rising

Here in the UK we bought almost two and a half million fewer books than in the opening weeks of 2011. Incude non-fiction and childrens's books and the total number of books sold in the UK fell by 4.7 million to 25 million over the same eight week period, according to Nielsen BookScan. We are talking printed books, of course.

Almost 1.4 million e-readers were sold in the UK over Christmas, double the amount sold the year before, and e-books sales are soaring by as much as 623 per cent between January and June last year.

It seems the writing is on the wall for the independant bookseller, and the bigger chains may well be worried. I've rarely patronised an independant, not as a conscious decision, but because I live in an area that is well supplied with bookshops of the larger variety, yet I'm always sorry when one goes out of business. I don't try and square that with preferring to buy a book as cheaply as possible. Getting a good read for less will always appeal. It's the way I am, the way most of society is these days, if we're honest. And not many of us can afford to buy as many books as we'd like these days. Twelve and thirteen pounds for a paperback seems way off the mark to me. What we need is another man like the one who set up the first Penguin paperbacks - a good read, but a cheap read.


Dean Crawford said...

It's a great cause for concern, especially when large suppliers like Amazon seem so intent on cornering the lion's share of the market. I don't think that traditional publishing will ever disappear completely, but the downsizing of the market is already underway for sure. My best guess is that in 10 years, non-fiction will be the dominant print seller, with 90% plus of fiction electronically published.

Jen Black said...

Trad publishing may remain, but I suspect there will be far fewer titles. Do you remember the Folio Society, Dean? I wonder if it is still going?