We get all kinds of news about e-books, although my sense is that the amount of news has been declining over the past year: I don’t seem to find as many items to post to our FlipBoard site. Whatever the amount of news, however, one thing is certain: there is total confusion as to whether e-books are on the slide, or are growing, or standing still, or moving to a different planet.
This confusion is caused by two closely related things: first, most of the news concerns the USA, and secondly, that news depends on statistics released by the Association of American Publishers, which, although representing about 1,200 publishers, does not represent all, and, crucially does not include Amazon’s sales in its statistics.
An article in the Observer last year looked at this issue () drawing upon data from AuthorEarnings, whose latest report notes that in the last three quarters of 2017, the value of e-book sales in the USA was just over $1.3 billion – that hardly looks like a market in decline 🙂
In Spain, in 2016, the market share for e-books was expected to reach double figures for the first time, up to 10% from 6% in 2015.
The journalists’ reliance on the data from the Association of American Publishers results in them not getting either the global picture or even a true image of the situation in the USA, and to move from this faulty data to claiming that the e-book is dead, is just abou a silly as the statements, a few years ago – from the same people – that the printed book was dead!