Sunday, January 7, 2018

Claims that ebooks are failing...

Some articles are so sneaky. This article starts by claiming loudly that ebook sales are down significantly (17%) and talks about at length how everybody now are into paperbooks. (Not reading actually, mainly the books as artefacts*.)

 ... And then near the end (after many have stopped reading) comes this information:
 “The figures from the Publishing Association should be treated with some caution. They exclude self-published books, a sizable market for ebooks. And, according to Dan Franklin, a digital publishing specialist, more than 50% of genre sales are on ebook. Digital book sales overall are up 6%.” 

There is a whole lot of difference between between 17% down and 6% up!
 And how it is justified to exclude self-published books from statistics when considering the book market is puzzling to me. That can only be explained by the traditional publishers not wanting to even look at self-publishing because it is so successful in ebooks, and it’s a frightening competitor.

* I love books as artefacts, I have many beautiful ones. But it has little to do with the content, which after all is the point of books. Books expand the mind, but only if you open them.


David Evans said...

I think the point is that self-published books don't go through any sort of independent assessment. I have read self-published ebooks on topics such as sea serpents, UFOs and cryptozoology which are just dreadful, recycling of old news with no new thought, sometimes even cut-and-paste jobs. If that market were expanding it wouldn't prove that ebook publishing is in a good state.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I see your point.
But, for one thing, if quality is an issue, then we also need to weed out all the poor books that traditional publishers put out, and include the good books which come from self-publishing.

But I don’t think quality is relevant to judging how the book market is doing.