Here's the link to yesterday's NY Times story I.J. Over the last three months, Amazon has sold 143 e-books for every 100 hardcovers. And over the last month the ratio has increased to 180 e-books for every 100 hardcovers.
Thanks, Christopher. Yes. That makes sense. They didn't count the freebies, but a lot of self-published books are selling for 99 cents. Still, the numbers are impressive. And the nice thing about e-books is that a good protion of the money goes to the author.
I just read the story a few minutes ago in today's paper and was going to start a discussion, Jon. Great minds think alike:)
It appears that the demise of the hardcover and the rise of the e-book is coming true even more quickly than originally predicted. When you consider the soaring costs of a hardcover today, it really is understandable.
Yep. I've always thought $25 for a hardcover was crazy, a wound the publishing industry was foolishly inflicting on itself. Maybe ebooks really are the cure--I certainly like a 25-50% royalty better than 12.5%....
Still, it's so easy to steal (pirate) e-books. And libraries seem to have ready access to a central venue so that any book can be down-loaded for free.
The article implies that hcs still sell. I suppose that applies mostly to bestsellers, though libraries prefer hc also. Paperbacks outsell e-books, but that may be mostly mass market pb.
Frankly, I don't understand the tradepaper thing. I was told that these sold very well, being a sort of bridge between the costly hc and the flimsy mmpb. From my point of view, if I just wanted to pass the time, I'd buy mmpb. If I wanted the book to own it, I'd buy hc.
So what happens then, to readers---many older readers, for instance---who still don't have computers or iPads or internet because they can't afford them, or don't want to fuss with them period? Many readers who can't afford to purchase every new book that comes out will go to libraries---and libraries, and bookmobiles--- whether you as a writer like them or not---I don't know how that affects a writers' royalties--- are important. Reading is for everyone. Maybe in the long term, after all the old people are toast, everyone can download books and read on their i-Phones or whatever gadget it is then. I hope I kick the bucket first. ;) Not that I'm in any great hurry to do that!
Of course writers want to sell---but let's face it, not every reader can buy. Or buying readers set their priorities: books they want to keep, and books they'll read once. (Then give to the library) or pass on to a friend). Or they'll buy used and cheap from Amazon or Alibris.
Libraries are the way many readers, sans computer or other reader's device, discover new writers, or get to read books they wouldn't have otherwise read. I buy quite a few books, but also love our local libraries. e-books can be a good option for some, but I hope they don't completely replace the "real thing." It's not only about writers getting their royalties, but about enough choices for readers. Even if a majority of readers like e-books, there will always be a contingent that wants a book-book.
Of course if readers simply cannot wait to get hold of a new book--- and I'm guessing there's nothing that makes a writer happier than when readers can't wait to get their latest---then they'll surely pay top dollar, or get an e-book version.