Wednesday, September 15, 2010


E-book sales up; mass market down.

According to the Publishers Weekly June Sales Report, e-book sales rose a staggering 204 percent while mass market paperbacks dropped nearly 15 percent.

At Random House, profits doubled in the first half of the business year with a 300 percent rise in e-book sales - helped by the international bestsellers of Stieg Larsson. And Borders has announced a drop in sales from bookstores, but a rise in online orders.

Other publishers have also reported increases in online and e-book sales.

Customers are moving to immediacy with their reading and publishing companies are cashing in - those who have recognised the shift in customer trends, that is.

The e-book publishing industry allows for profits on all sides: cheaper production costs for publishers, larger income for authors and cheaper, faster receipt of books for customers. But negotiations are still on-going within the industry on how to divide the incomes. And while those negotiations keep the lawyers busy, customers are happily downloading and reading the latest in books.

Everyone but readers are playing catch up, mainly because they are the driving force behind the industry. So many books are published each year, that readers can be more discerning in their choices - and it is that choice, e-book or traditional, that dictates the direction of the industry. And the direction is electronic.

The paperless society is on its way.

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