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Ebooks Sales Down and Then Up: Nothing Goes Better!

At the beginning of October, the figures began to filter in the American press. Sales of ebooks are on the rise. Information to be taken with tweezers and that contradicts all that the mainstream press has advanced in recent years.

Ebooks sales up in the US in 2017?

HarperCollins, an American publisher (New York) has unveiled the key figures of its business for the last quarter.

First, the company reported that its revenues had increased by 3% compared to the same period last year (3rd quarter of the calendar year).

But, it is especially the share of eBooks that is interesting: with 21% of revenue from the sale of ebooks, it is a sector that is particularly lucrative for the publisher.

HarperCollins also reported that e-book sales increased by 6% this quarter (compared to the same quarter in 2016). A nice increase that should not overshadow the reality.

No more trend without being ridiculed

But, for many people, either the sales figures of ebooks are unstable or they are down. The arguments advanced are numerous and often far removed from reality.

Here are some of them, often supported by serious studies:

Young people prefer paper: and before, no? It was suddenly that the children thought that the paper was more suitable? Do all children have reading lights but do not use them?

The British are tired of screens: so, if they are tired of screens, they do not buy tablets, PCs, smartphones anymore? They are not aware that the reading screens are designed to be easier to read?

Readers are no longer “cool”: it is well known, all young people “cool” in my neighborhood have reading lights … Of course, now that it is out of fashion, people do not read more …

As we see, the arguments put forward to explain this decline in digital sales are easily questionable.

Yet, there is undoubtedly some truth in each article. It is possible that children no longer like digital books and prefer to build a paper collection just as some English have decided to drop the e-reader.

But, each of his studies does not take into account some aspects of digital reading and seem largely biased. It is simpler to try to explain a problem or fact with a shocking argument than by studying the subject from top to bottom.

This new trend (that of sales of ebooks that increase) is, therefore, contradicting all the nonsense published for years in the mainstream press that should be ashamed.

Ebook sales figures are too complex to study

The problem is indeed more complex and detailed in this article (click here to read it) and comes down to some important points:

  • the share of e-book sales has been skewed in recent years by the rise of coloring books that cannot be adapted to digital format
  • books published by freelancers and published without the help of a publisher are not included in sales figures
  • if we study the figures of the authors’ incomes, we realize that they earn more and more money thanks to digital

Conclusion: should we stop relaying this kind of figure?

So, what about the figures published by HarperCollins? Nothing at all, they are not significant to the industry. Perhaps even overall, ebook sales among publishers will decline. Since the numbers are too partial to study, it is now too difficult to draw conclusions from this kind of information.

As we have just seen once again, if you read somewhere that the sales figures of ebooks go up or down, beware!

 

 

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