September 23, 2014 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.
“The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead”
From the New York Times, September 23, 2015, by Alexandra Alter:
“Five years ago, the book world was seized by collective panic over the uncertain future of print.
As readers migrated to new digital devices, e-book sales soared, up 1,260 percent between 2008 and 2010, alarming booksellers that watched consumers use their stores to find titles they would later buy online. Print sales dwindled, bookstores struggled to stay open, and publishers and authors feared that cheaper e-books would cannibalize their business.”
A Steep Drop in Sales
“But those double- and triple-digit growth rates plummeted as e-reading devices fell out of fashion with consumers, replaced by smartphones and tablets. Some 12 million e-readers were sold last year, a steep drop from the nearly 20 million sold in 2011, according to Forrester Research. The portion of people who read books primarily on e-readers fell to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2015, from 50 percent in 2012, a Nielsen survey showed.” (NYT, 9/23/15)
Price vs. Value
The first sentence of the following quote from the NYT article, we think, nails the reason:
“Higher e-book prices may also be driving readers back to paper.
As publishers renegotiated new terms with Amazon in the past year and demanded the ability to set their own e-book prices, many have started charging more. With little difference in price between a $13 e-book and a paperback, some consumers may be opting for the print version.
On Amazon, the paperback editions of some popular titles, like “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt and “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, are several dollars cheaper than their digital counterparts.”
Readers Respond to the Lack of Value in e-Books
Our post of April ,2014 was titled, “E- BOOKS – IS THE E-BOOK DEAD, OR JUST ASLEEP? , stated,
“We have not written much about the “The Book”, or for our purposes, the e-book, because there really has not been nothing new. Publishers are still charging high prices for static e-books, in some instances, nearly as much at the hardcover, printed book. That is why we are pleased to reproduce, here, a recent post by Open Culture, one of the best sites on the web for book and art. The post is titled “The Books You Think Every Intelligent Person Should Read: Crime and Punishment, Moby-Dick & Beyond (Many Free Online).”
E+ The Enhanced e-Book – The e-Book of the Future – Now
From our post titled, E-BOOKS: WHAT CAN AN ENHANCED E-BOOK, “E +,” DO FOR JACK KEROUAC’S ON THE ROAD?:
“In a prior post we wrote about the enhanced e-book, “e +,” as a new genre which requires the incorporation of many disciplines and technologies. Now, Penguin Books has published an enhanced e-book by Jack Kerouac’s novel: On the Road. Both Penguin editors and the Kerouac estate curated this digital edition of On the Road. The book includes valuable features that show what can be done with the enhanced e-book novel, and is an excellent example of the use of New Media digital technology to enhance the value of the e-book, and the reader’s experience.”
What is to be Done? One of The Best E+ e-Books
See, IMPRESSIONISTS BOOK EXCLUSIVLY IN E-BOOK FORMAT
ArtDaily has reported that the Musée d’Orsay and Artepublishing have produced an Impressionist Exhibition book exclusively in digital format, Great Impressionist and Post Impressionist Paintings The Musée d’Orsay.
“As the publisher states, there is no museum in the world that has a better collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art than the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The very best of these works are brought together for the first time in an enhanced e-book. The book has been published by Artepublishing solely as an e-book and will not be available in printed form. The book is an outstanding work of scholarship. It is beautifully designed and intuitively interactive.”
Until e- book publishers add value by content which enhances an e-book, the digital book will be regarded simply as reading a paperback with a light behind each page. This is not worth the price.