16 Facts About eBooks & Print Books

ReadingThere was a time when the most heated and debated subject was Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing. Now, the debate shifts to eBooks vs. Print books.

Instead of debating and getting all worked up about opinions, let’s look at the facts from different sources to get an idea of what’s going on.

~ 75% of people between the ages of 16-29 have read a printed book in the last year. The younger generation has preferred digital products with the exception of eBooks. (Source: PEW Research)

~ Among adults who purchased at least one book in the past year, 5% purchased an eBook. (Source: National Endowment for the Arts)

~ 90% of people still read printed books. (Source: PEW Research)

~ 6% of people read only eBooks. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

~ eBooks that have over 100,000 words sell significantly more than eBooks that have under 50,000 words. (Source: Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords)

~ Books priced from $3.00-$3.99 sell more than any other price point. (Source: Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords)

~ 46% of people read only printed books. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

~ To get more readers for eBooks, a Subscription Program is being offered that charges readers $10 a month to receive unlimited amount of eBooks. (Source: Scribd and Oyster)

~ In response to the fading eBook market, publishers are trying to offer deals such as including a free eBook version with the purchase of a hardback book. Or, include a backlist eBook title with the current hardback title. (Source: George Lossius, CEO at Publishing Technology)

~ Print books are being divided into three or four shorter books to keep up with reader trends that appreciate shorter content. “In many ways, publishers will revert back to serializing works, chapter by chapter, like many Victorian novels.” (Source: George Lossius, CEO at Publishing Technology)

~ 56,000 eBooks are self-published every 30 days. With a flooded eBook market, readers are losing interest. “Industry reports that eBook sales growth has been slowing.”

(Source: Han Huang, Director of Product Management for Data Licensing at Bowker; secondary source from the Wall Street Journal)

~ “In 2013, eBook revenue growth began to slip.” (Source: George Lossius, CEO at Publishing Technology)

~ “eBook sales will decrease in 2014.” (Source: Mark Coker, Founder of Smashwords.) Keep in mind that Coker founded a website that publishes only eBooks.

~ 32 million books are currently in print. (Source: Pew Research)

“Reading an eBook is similar to running on a treadmill rather than running outside.” ~ Jeff Staiger, UO Librarian

It sounds like I’m an advocate for printed books. That’s not true. I have several published eBooks. However, I now understand why my printed books have more sales than my eBooks.

Ron Knight

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Ron Knight

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