The Ebook Sales Apocalypse And The Rise Of Bookstores


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Have you heard?

New stats from the AAP (Association of American Publishers) are showing that the sales of ebooks are down in 2015, in addition to an increase in the number of bookstores. These type of stats can affect you as a writer, so let’s look at what this all means.

According to Fortune,

In the first five months of 2015, publishers’ revenues from e-books sales fell 10% to $610.8 million, according to the Association of American Publishers, compared to a 2.3% drop in print book sales in the fiction, non fiction and religious categories (that the industry calls trade books.) Some of that relative decline might be explained by e-book prices that have risen: many people still prefer the tactile pleasure of a physical book and will choose that over a digital book for the same price.

However, this doesn’t really tell the whole story. You see, there are different reasons why ebook sales appear to be down. The data was collected from the AAP’s data of 1,200 publishers. Unfortunately, these 1200 publishers represent less than half of all ebook sales. The rest goes to independent and self published ebooks. In fact, the AAP clan’s Kindle sales fell from 45% to 32%.

If you’re an author that is taking the self publishing route, this type of news can initially send a jolt through you. The media makes it out to appear that ebook sales are plunging. In reality, the AAP has rewritten their own contracts to increase the price of ebooks. Rising ebook prices this year may be partially responsible for the dip in ebook sales. However, as a self published author, you’re not going to see a drop anytime soon. Now you can take a deep breath!

Rise of Bookstores


Bookstores were given the death sentence a few years ago. Everyone envisioned a world where readers carried around their Kindles or E-readers everywhere they went. This would have been a shame for authors that do get published.

As writers, I’m sure you crave the look and feel of a real book. What would we do without a neighbourhood bookstore where we can peruse the aisles for hours? It turns out the Ebook Apocalypse hasn’t happened yet. The good news is that bookstores have increased in numbers, and publishers are investing money into more warehouse space. According to the New York Times,

The American Booksellers Association counted 1,712 member stores in 2,227 locations in 2015, up from 1,410 in 1,660 locations five years ago.

So there you have it. Take out the noise that the media is portraying and you can see there’s a win – win situation for writers in general. Ebook prices are rising due to the AAP. This will only help the self published writer begin to gradually increase their own prices. Bookstores are increasing in popularity, which will only fuel the imagination and need for more people to dig deep into their favourite book.

What do you think about all this? Are you trying to self publish or seek a publisher? Do you have any success or horror stories with either of these strategies? Leave a comment below!

Image: flickr

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