Wed 18 Jul 2012
Ebooks just reached a huge milestone – they passed print in adult fiction sales for the first time evah!
These records are kept by BookStats – co-produced by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group. And last year, sales of books on electronic devices passed printed book sales in the highly important adult fiction sales category.
388 million ebooks were sold in 2011, which is a 210 percent increase from the previous year. In 2010 125 million ebooks were sold. And the dollar figures – they climbed way up too. How far up? The dollar value of sales more than doubled in 2011, earning $2.074 billion, up from $869 million in 2010.
When AAP spokesperson Andi Sporkin was asked to don her swami hat and predict when ebook sales will overcome print as the undisputed champ, she said, “That won’t happen for a while yet.” Since Ms. Sporkin works for the big publishers who live and die by the sales of their high-ticket paper books, that response is about what one would respect, right? After I dusted off my swami hat and jammed it on my noggin’, I got a different vibe.
I’m betting ebook sales can play the “Rocky” theme and run up that big flight of stairs in 3 years — or less. As technology advances, and more companies push the gadgets, tablets and ereaders, more and more people climb on the bandwagon. And once you go “e” – you never go back. The convenience of having an unlimited selection of anything you ever want to read right at your fingertips beats crawling in your car and standing in line by much farther than a country mile.
It won’t be long until we’re questioning why anyone is still killing trees to produce books.