Monday, 26 January 2015

Books and Spikes

If you want a detailed report on how UK publishers are doing, then check out "Review of 2014" by Philip Jones in the Bookseller 20 January, 2015.
Here's a swift gloss -
"e-book sales outpaced print sales during the year."

Domestic e-book sales for Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins and Pan Macmillan totalled 49m units in 2014, a 15.3% rise on 2013. There was an 18% rise in 2012, and a huge 105% gain in 2012 (on 2011).

There are and probably always will be, spikes. The e-book market rate of growth was exaggerated in 2012 by the Fifty Shades trilogy, Spikes like this can play havoc with a companies figures, skew general trends and drive analysts crazy.

Independently published titles are growing, but no one has a way of tracking the rate of growth.

HarperCollins UK chief executive Charlie Redmayne says the traditional Christmas sales spike has "all but" disappeared. Waterstones m.d. James Daunt said virtually the same thing two weeks ago.

The other thing of interest is what everyone is calling the "print renaissance." The book trade has "rekindled its love affair with the physical book." 
Has digital helped revive and reinvent print?

The shift to tablet reading and the rise of subscription services, will likely change the narrative again. As Kindle's Russ Grandinetti suggested at Digital Book World last week, nothing is stable. Let's hope the book business is doing better than we all thought.

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