Following my analyses on the state of publishing, which I started with my posts, 2004-2014: How the E-book Changed Adult Fiction and What we Learn from The Publishers Association’s Statistics Yearbook 2014, this just came in, through the always excellent (and free) Passive Voice newsletter.
It is a post originally published on Ink, Bits & Pixels, which expresses doubt about the new numbers thrown around, claiming that ebooks have reached a plateau. Specifically, it deals with new estimate from Nielsen Pubtrack which said that 6% fewer ebooks were sold in the US in 2014.
The post reports that the Pubtrack estimate of 223 million ebooks sold in the US was completely erroneous. It cites two sources which say that the US ebook market is at least twice as large as Pubtrack thinks it is.
The first source is the pseudonymous Data Guy (the one behind the Author Earnings Report). His calculations suggested that around 513 million ebooks were sold in the US ebook market last year – twice as many as Pubtrack estimates.
The second source is more eponymous: the Association of American Publishers itself. They just released their annual estimates of the US book market and they say that 510 million ebooks were sold in the US last year (much closer to Data Guy’s estimate).
Yes, the AAP says that the US ebook market is over twice as large as Nielsen had claimed. It turns out that Nielsen widely over-estimated its ability to track the US ebook market.
Nielsen’s number is so far off because it thinks that the 30 publishers it tracks represent 85% of the market, when in reality they represent around half that number.
Which kinda proves my point: You know nothing, John Snow!
To find out more, you can read the whole article on Ink, Bits & Pixels.
Alternatively, you can read my award-winning children’s book, Runaway Smile, for free!
I’ve never understood the Nielson rating system. Good to know you found better sources for the numbers.
I fear Nielsen is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Thanks for keeping track of this for all of us! Wish I was getting a bigger portion of all those sales, but I am definitely contributing since I buy probably 50 ebooks a year.
An ocean consists of many droplets 🙂
And then there is Kindle Unlimited. Amazon will pay out over $100,000,000 in Kindle Unlimited borrows in 2015. The Big Boys would love to ignore that number…
Lol – a few are probably slapping their ears going la la la la as we speak… 😀
I would assume that these figures do not include the indie published books.
As always 🙂
Part of that is how hard it is to come up with hard data on Indie sales. Data Guy and Hugh Howey are the leading lights in this area.
Thanks, Nicholas for another thought provoking post. Perhaps what we have is a small group of avid readers who consume many books each in which case ebooks are the easiest & most affordable.
That’s surely part of the change, but I think it goes beyond that. People read more than before, but they read differently.
The book world is changing. Thanks for pointing out the new directions. Helps us navigate the turbulent waters.
Glad you found the info useful 🙂
Wow. Incredible numbers either way. What a great time to be an author. Woot!
Lol – absolutely! A few years ago, we wouldn’t even have met 🙂
The first mistake was tracking publishers. So much of the ebook market consists of independents, as another commenter pointed out. It’s beyond ridiculous to base numbers only on publishers.
Agreed! Their data are becoming increasingly less indicative. It’s a rapidly shifting world, but I’m not sure how many publishers realize just how much things have already changed.
Reblogged this on Armand Rosamilia.
Yep. And look where poor John Show ended up.
I’m sure he’s coming back. The dead don’t stay dead for long in Martin’s universe.
It’s funny, because, having read the books, I always had to bite my tongue to avoid blurting out, “oh yeah, but you know what happens to Snow, right?” when talking with fans of the series. Finally, I can discuss his death freely 😀
I read all the books too, and I was able to keep John’s fate a secret. That said, the series isn’t following the books much anymore. They kind of dropped the whole “zombie” element. We’ll see….
My guess is that Snow is the savior of the prophecy. Therefore, he’ll rise from the dead, have the fiery sword etc.
Nice to know reading it alive and well.
Despite the hype to the contrary 🙂
Staggering numbers either way, and interesting… 😮
Thanks for the info. I still want to see the reviews of the trillion $$$$ towel. Ha!
Happily enough, you can on https://nicholasrossis.me/2015/06/19/trillion-dollar-towel-reviews/
Hahaha! I get a kick out of reviews on Amazon. I’m truly amazed, for example, how many children’s books have been written about farts.
Lol – that’s scary… 😀
They are staggering figures either way Nicholas. With a population of 318 million, it would seem that the US bought almost two ( 1. something, I am no good at Maths) e-books per head of the population. Reported sales in the UK for the same period topped 49 million, from a population of around 64 million, so less than one book per head. If these figures are correct, Americans are reading, and reading a lot, and Britons are reading more e-books than they ever read paper ones.
The reports I looked at used data supplied by publishers, so did not include sales by independent authors. Add these into the mix, and it would seem to confirm (at least by my back of a beer-mat reckoning) that the world is reading more than ever before. That can only be a good thing, surely?
Best wishes, Pete.
I agree, hence the title 🙂
We get a lot of hype about how people supposedly read less, but it seems that people don’t read less; they just read differently.
Reblogged this on Juliet Aharoni and commented:
Nicholas Rossis posts always enlighten the reader.