CHANGING TIDE! Print Book Sales Increase While Ebook Sales Continue to Decline

CHANGING TIDE! Print Book Sales Increase While Ebook Sales Continue to Decline

This year, reports are once again indicating an increase in the sales of print books, and a decrease in the sales of ebooks. As a publisher with thousands of books on the market, we are well-aware of the phenomenon and, this year, we’re once again not surprised.

When we first started selling ebooks on Amazon years ago, our print sales dropped while ebook sales steadily increased. For the past couple of years, ebook sales have been dropping and our print sales have rebounded. More people are opting to buy the print edition of a book instead of the electronic edition than they were just a couple of years ago.

Example:

One of our popular books was steadily selling 600+ printed copies per month before we started selling the ebook on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, Apple and Kobo.

After the ebook went live, we noticed a drop of about 30% in the print book sales. But, we were still selling around 600 copies per month. The 30% were choosing the ebook edition. The book is still selling at a steady pace but the percentage of print sales is now higher than it was a couple of years ago…and, of course, the percentage of ebook sales is now lower.

I have spoken to other publishers who are reporting the same thing. And, I have discussed ebooks vs. print books with many of our thousands of WritersWeekly.com readers over the past couple of years and most people prefer print books now, after having purchased ebooks for a period of time. Many also reported having ebook reading devices now gathering dust in a drawer (like mine).

Other publishers and even the media are reporting the same thing. Some naysayers (those heavily invested in the ebook market – ebook retailers, ebook reading device manufacturers and retailers, and even authors who have written books about ebooks) are trying to come up with other excuses and some are denying the facts altogether. But, the trend can’t be ignored.

Ebook sales are down.

Ebook reading device sales are down.

Many people who still own dedicated ebook reading devices no longer use them.

And, print book sales are up.

Will there always be ebooks? Yes. But there will also always be print books. Authors need to offer both electronic and print editions to their readers to attract the largest readership.

RELATED:

“Did I make a mistake only publishing my book in electronic format? ZERO COPIES SOLD!”
The Ebook Trend is Definitely WANING! NOW WHAT?!
Why You Should Publish Your Print and Ebook Editions AT THE SAME TIME!
Three Times More People Prefer Print Books to Ebooks
75% of Americans DON’T Own Ebook Readers – Are you ignoring 75% of the book buying market?!



Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.



About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.

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5 Responses to "CHANGING TIDE! Print Book Sales Increase While Ebook Sales Continue to Decline"

  1. andy  November 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Michael
    Interesting stuff. As a first-time author I am just hoping the images of my paperback book are clear when I receive them to promote and sell. As for E-readers, I feel they are missing a big opportunity here, as they are capable of upgrading to an even higher level than books.I can’t believe Apple isn’t exploring the possibilities…links, sound, etc….things which might even change the way writers like myself would write.

    Reply
  2. pamelaallegretto  November 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    And here I thought I was one of the last holdouts for print books, good to know I’m not. I don’t have an e-reader or a smart phone, nor do I want either. When I curl up in bed each night and open a “real” book, that’s my little slice of heaven.

    Reply
  3. Werner  November 10, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Hi Angela,

    I was one of the early adapters to the Kindle ereader platform. With ebooks I was reading more than ever before. These days I’m back to a mix of print and ebook formats – print when I’m home and ebook when I’m out taking a walk, lunch time at work, or traveling.

    I still use my Kindle but not as much as I once did. The reason ereader sales are down is because most people, myself included, read ebooks on their phone. In fact about 75% of my reading is done on my phone. I‘m a 50-something, and I find it easy and convenient.

    I think what we’re seeing here is part of a cycle. First ebooks were up and print down, now it’s the other way around – at least for the time being.

    Just my 2¢

    ~Werner

    Reply
  4. Michael W. Perry  November 10, 2017 at 6:30 am

    When I was visiting the Library of Congress, I came across two displays across a hallway from one another. One had an late medieval Bible manuscript done in hand by scribes. The other had an early edition of the Gutenberg printed Bible. Both were beautifully done and both were so similar in appearance, that if a mischievous me had switched their placards, it might have been days before anyone noticed.

    Now compare our old technology, a printed book from a typical publisher, with our new, what you see in ereaders and ereading apps on a smartphone. You’d never confuse the two. The latter is ugly and those responsible for the standards (i.e. epub) or hardware (i.e. Kindles) apparently don’t care.

    We’re supposed to get all excited that we can change the font and font size. Why? I’ve never read a book thinking, “Oh, if I could just change its font, it would be so much better.” No, it’s the publisher’s responsibility to choose an appropriate font, so readers don’t have bother with that.

    And while the twits who’re responsible for what we get with ebooks half been pushing font changing, they’re failing to give us ereading apps and devices that are smart enough to reflow text and make most adaptations that’d make the text look better. Instead, what we get deserves awards for ugliness. My Kindle ereader is so stupid, that on one occasion the last page of a chapter had nothing on it but the “ly” at the end of a word. Is it asking too much to expect page breaks to be done right or for a graphic not to mess up pagination?

    Ebooks are dying to a great extent because the public has discovered that they’re so ugly, they take much of the fun out of reading. Reading one is like eating at a one-star restaurant.

    Reply
  5. Wendy Jones  November 9, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    This story and its conclusion goes hand-in-hand with what I see when I fly. Only once or twice have I seen an E-reader in use — almost every seat is filled with passengers who either have a hardcover or paperback book in their lap.

    Reply

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