Saturday, 20 January 2018

E-book claims

The Publishing Association show that sales of consumer ebooks have dropped by 17%, while sales of physical books are up 8%. Consumer spending on books was up £89m across the board last year, compared with 2015. 

Paula Cocozza wrote a fairly long article about this back in April 2017 asking So why is the physical book winning through? I read it with interest and then found this statement:

The figures from the Publishing Association should be treated with some caution. They exclude self-published books, a sizable market for ebooks. And, according to Dan Franklin, a digital publishing specialist, more than 50% of genre sales are on ebook. Digital book sales overall are up 6%.

I looked back at th earlier figure: ebooks have dropped by 17%  and wondered how to match the two statements in my mind.

“It’s not about the death of ebooks,” Daunt says. (James Daunt of Waterstone) “It’s about ebooks finding their natural level. Even in the years when ebook sales were rising greatly – and clearly cannibalising physical book sales – it was always very clear that we would have a correction and reach an equilibrium.” The UK, he says, has “adopted” ebooks and they will remain a substantial market (while in France, for instance, ebooks are only 3% of the overall market). The last thing he – or any seller or publisher of physical books – wants is the death of the ebook. “We want people to read. We don’t mind how they read,” he stresses. He knows that people who read, sooner or later, will buy books.

Perhaps you'll be able to explain to me how those two claims match together.

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