Frankly, I’m surprised this is even asked anymore. And yet, I did encounter the question a few days ago. I consulted Author Marketing Ideas, Vox.com and, of course, Author Earnings for some interesting statistics on ebooks.
EBooks are on the rise right now. Having an eBook allows you to offer your audience a new way of reading your book. Nowadays it seems just about everyone owns a tablet or some kind of eReader and prefer to read on these devices.
The healthy state of the book market owes a lot to ebooks, as the trendlines are negative for print. The data about e-book sales and print sales are never fully clear, but we do know that total book sales in 2013 was almost $15 billion, according to the Associations of American Publishers. That’s a 14% increase since 2008. E-books accounted for $3 billion. If we took e-books out, however, print book sales would be down almost 8% since 2008.
Even these numbers of book sales underestimate the profit e-books are making because they fail to include the revenue made from self-published books, because Amazon does not disclose those statistics.
Therefore, we have to take an indirect root: cover types for the adult market. Using that metric, a widely different image emerges: eBooks have already taken the top spot in cover types for the adult market:
- E-Books: $328.2 million (33% of the adult market)
- Paperback: $306.6 million (30% of the adult market)
- Hardcover: $226.5 million (22% of the adult market)
Whichever image is more accurate, the steady rise of ebooks becomes obvious when one considers eBook growth percentages in the adult market over the last three years’ first quarters. These were 23% in 2011, 28% in 2012, and 33% in 2013.
Ebooks and Genre Fiction
One thing that should also be taken into account is a book’s genre. For genre fiction (mystery/thriller/suspense, science fiction/fantasy and romance) ebooks are a clear winner:
I have made my books available in both formats. As you know, both Pearseus, my epic fantasy series and The Power of Six, my collection of science fiction short stories, are genre fiction. My experience with these has been consistent with the above. My print copies have been roughly 4% of my total. Which means that a full 96% of sales has been in ebook format.
However, I have now published a children’s book, Runaway Smile. As its illustrations are pretty much lost in Kindle, I’m curious to see if its sales will follow the above trend. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out! 🙂
To celebrate the holiday season, the last offer of the year is the best one so far: the three-book bundle of Pearseus will be on sale throughout December! Read all the books in my best-selling epic fantasy series for only 99c. If you bought Pearseus, Rise of the Prince in November, then just contact me and I will send you the bundle for free! You may also, read my children’s book, Runaway Smile, online for free!