I have read many articles over the last year or so on the success of the eBook and the potential fall of the traditional publisher and physical books. Personally, I can never imagine eBooks taking over completely – just as MP3 has not resulted in a complete demise of the CD and music shops. It is even still possible to buy cassette tapes in certain shops.
Personally, I always used to ask for books for Christmas or, at the very least, Waterstones vouchers. I knew I could always spend those vouchers well and build my ever-growing book collection. However, now I think about it I cannot remember the last time I purchased an actual book. I have downloaded thousands of eBooks from both Amazon and iBooks and have asked for iTunes vouchers for the last few years knowing I would be able to buy many eBooks at 99p each in comparison with maybe a couple of hardbacks for the same total cost.
I think we have reached that point we did with MP3’s where people now begin selling their physical copies on eBay and giving away to charity shops in favour of the digital solution as so many did with CD’s.
Whilst I could not see the complete demise of the traditional publisher and printed books I was curious to know how the statistics compared between sales of hardback/paperbacks and the sale of eBooks over the last few years. I read the Association of American Publishers Press Release for 2010 and was surprised to read that the sales of books, once eBooks were subtracted, was pretty even between 2009 and 2010.
I also discovered a few facts that may interest you:
- For every 100 hardcover books Amazon sell they sell 143 ebooks (this includes books not available in eBook format) Source – Wired.com
- 53% of those who buy eBook readers state that they now read more books than they did before. Source – Harris Interactive
- 51% of e-reader owners read on their device on a daily basis. Source – Wall Street Journal
What do people think? Do you still purchase physical books or do you find the ease and cost of buying eBooks just makes it far more enticing?