Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MOVE OVER HARDCOVERS: E-books Just Outsold You

By: Kathleen Pickering http://www.kathleenpickering.com


Before I even begin on today’s news, let me offer a superb website for the latest in breaking news for the publishing industry, called GalleyCat:


Don’t go there now, because I’ll lose you here. GalleyCat is chock full of fascinating info that could capture your attention for hours—but, I need you now!  So, do copy and paste this link into your Favorites to peruse after you’ve read my fascinating info today on e-book sales outselling hardcovers for the first time in the US.

This new is from an article written by Lauren Indvik on Mashable. (Another great site for breaking news, BTW!)

Looks like e-books brought in $282.3M in the first quarter of this year (up 28.1% from last year). Adult hardcover novels earned $229.6M (up 2.7%). Adult paperbacks continued to lead at $299.8M but sales are down 10.5% from last year.

Downloaded Audio books are up 32.7% from last year selling at $25M. So, the trend is pretty clear. The flood of e-reading devices crossing the board from tablets, smartphones to dedicated e-readers have taken a bite from the paper book industry.

What did I do? I went and bought some Apple stock (better late than never). The writing is on the wall--never mind on the e-readers!


Have you gone to the dark side and traded in your hard copies for your Kindle, Nook or other e-reading device? I cherish my hard cover books and can’t imagine taking an e-reader into the tub (unless of course, it’s waterproof!) Yet, I haven’t been loyal to my paper novels, either. Here’s a page in my iPad Kindle file of books by fellow authors. I mean, really? How can we resist carrying around hundreds of books on a slim little tablet? Are paper books doomed?

Tell me what you think.

xox, Piks



    My Novel's on your e-reader and you posted it on TKZ!!

    My 15 mins of FAME!

    Yes, Piks, I have taken to loading more books on my e-reader (I have a Kindle Touch - nice), and there are rare exceptions now to hardbacks I'll buy.

    That makes me nostalgic.

    I still buy some paperbacks, and I support my local bookstore, but it's just so easy to read from my device.

    Have you read JSB's book he put out last week?

    Now, where can I go to buy some of that stock you just mentioned?

    You made my day!

  2. For me the e-reader is right up there with the invention of the printing press and computers. E-readers made buying books more affordable. I have been able to purchase way more books since getting an e-reader than I ever could when paper books were my only choice.

    The only paper books I buy now are non-fiction because, at least at the moment, they are still easier to read in paper format.

    And I LOVE being able to walk around with 500 books in my purse! 8-)

  3. My paper-book reading days are numbered. Most books I read now are on my Kindle. It's just so convenient. And speaking of e-books, My friend and fellow thriller author Brett Battles is offering his new novel SICK as a free Kindle download. So far, this book has received 48 5-star and 18 4-star reviews. Trust me, Brett is really good. Grab SICK for free today at http://amzn.to/M2FLH9.

  4. I'm all for ebooks until I have to charge my ipod. Then I watch that little battery meter, and look at my bookcase full of books that won't disappear if I forget to charge my ipod.

    Ebooks are convenient, but I don't think they'll eliminate paper books.

    But hey, ebook sales skyrocketing like that? That's good news for all use folks thinking of epublishing. :)

  5. I have a Kindle. I love my Kindle because it has allowed me to read books that I otherwise wouldn't. I tend to still paperbacks/hardbacks of the authors that I already follow. A lot of what I read on my Kindle tend to be review because that's the only format that it comes in. I also tend to forget about the other titles that are on my Kindle. Why? The books that are my bookcase are constantly screaming at me that they are there and need to be read. The books on my Kindle only have that chance when I open it.

  6. Hey! Amongst all those girly books, there sits my own first novel...my wife is gonna think things. ;-)

    Thanks for the free advert there Lady Piks.

    I read almost exclusively on my kindle and PC. On the kindle when for pleasure, and on the studio PC when recording narrations (which is the more frequent of the two). Never been much of a hard cover buyer anyway, but paperbacks are getting fewer and fewer around the Sands homsestead.

  7. I still enjoy a big hardcover book for my favorite authors. Of course my Kindle is bursting. First of all, with Kindle you can raise the point size. <(o)(o)> Then, you can sample anything that catches your eye. Few survive that quick peek, I can tell you. It's like all those candidates lined up to audition in The Producers movie. "Next!" And the "highlighting" feature is great for clipping out notes.

    I went to the used BS yesterday and almost bought two hardcovers at $2.99 ea. But maybe they're on Kindle??

  8. I'm about to have my first hardcover release, so this news actually made me a bit nervous :) But I'm happy that the royalty split for eBooks has been more or less standardized across publishing houses now, and finally makes more sense for authors!

  9. I think paper books will be around for a long time, even though sales may drop in the new, exponentially growing, electronic age.

    In the past 12 years, we've tried moving users off of printed paper reports at my company onto electronic reports and it is extremely difficult. The ones who love the paper will do so to their graves. I don't think that generation has dwindled enough just yet.

    Kathleen, you can edit your links and a window will pop up to give you the option to open the link in a separate window. That will take care of losing your reader if they click the link. Many readers, once taken to another site, will not think to click on the "back" button. I know that sounds silly, but it's true! :)

  10. Paula--I knew you'd like that! :) The Apple stock is AAPL. But, don't hold me to any investments!

    Basil--I know! Can you wife handle that you are being passed around the romance circuit? LOL!!

    Michelle--I wish you every success with your hard cover. How exciting!

    Diane--would love to hear move about editing links. . .

    I see from all these posts that we've all been bitten. I keep thinking of that Star Trek episode when someone comes into Jean Luc's quarters to see him holding an ancient hard cover book with reverence. I think digital and paper will become inextricable bedfellows in the years to come. Wishful thinking, maybe, but while embracing one, I'd hate to lose the other. Guess that's my romantic heart unwilling to let go. :)

  11. Hey Piks---I love my ereader. I still buy physical books, but not as often simply because it's so easy to click & buy without leaving the house. Very cool.

    I like the smaller hardcovers, like the ones I see for YA books.

  12. Yes, Jordan--I'm not ready to give up on hardcovers, either!

  13. The last hardcover that came into my house was a contest prize. I am all over my e-reader (Team Kindle) for fiction.

    I still like non-fiction in paperback so I can put sticky notes all over it, make notes in the margins, and prop it open by my project as I read the instructions.

    I will second was Joe Moore said about Brett Battles "SICK." I was lucky enough to score a review copy and posted one of those good reviews. I am waiting for the third book in the trilogy.

    Great post! Terri

  14. The print formats combined are still outselling ebooks. Isn't that worth anything? Combining paperback and hardback sales, I mean.

    If that's still the case, ebooks still have a little ways to go. I like my hardbacks. All the important ones are first editions.

  15. I still read paper books at home. And if the paper book and the Kindle edition cost the same, I'll choose the paper book. I like being able to look at the cover. But on trips, I'll take our Kindle and iPad. It's much more convenient. As for choosing an expensive hardcover versus a less pricey ebook edition, I'd choose the latter. Many of my fans still prefer books in print, so they're not going away so fast. However, they prefer them in paperback, not hardcover. They'll get that edition from the library.

  16. I think people will continue reading both formats, but ereaders will gradually dominate the marketplace. (I guess the tipping point in that just happened, as you pointed out in your blog!). I do think there will continue to be a role for printed work. For example, I still vastly prefer my glossy magazines to the same mags in digital. The print, colors and surfaces are part of the reading experience.

  17. I guess the bottom line is 'aint we lucky to have the best of both worlds. And, what a world it is!

    Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. It was GREAT to hear from you. xox

  18. great post - love your reading selection, lol! Galleycat is terrific. I still want print books, but I like the immediate gratification of my kindle and ipad.