E-Book Boom Fizzles
Sales growth bottoms out after years of huge increases
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2013 9:39 AM CDT
A file photo of the Kindle Fire.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – The e-book boom looks to be finished, writes Nicholas Carr at the Rough Type blog. He picks up on stats from the Association of American Publishers that show just a 5% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the previous year. That's "anemic," he writes, and continues the trend of rapidly declining sales growth from 2012. E-books are still hurting print books, whose sales fell about 5% in the first quarter, but the digital versions seem to be settling in at about the 25% mark of total book sales.

"In spite of the spectacular growth of e-books in 2008 to 2011, we all know that eventually the ride would come to a stop as the growth of e-book market share slowed," writes Nate Hoffelder at the Digital Reader. "I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly." Lots of reasons might be at play, but Carr wonders whether the drop is being helped along by the switch to multitasking tablets instead of devices (like the original Kindle) dedicated solely to reading. "Are tablets less conducive to book buying and reading than e-readers were?" Meanwhile, the numbers are worse worldwide: Nielsen Research says e-book sales actually declined in the first quarter—the first time that's happened, reports Publishing Technology.

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Showing 3 of 21 comments
Tology
Aug 9, 2013 12:36 PM CDT
Part of the joy of a good book is the smell of the paper it is written on.
movieboy
Aug 9, 2013 1:52 AM CDT
I have a Nook Color 7" tablet and a Coby Kyros 8" tablet. I bought them both new and the Coby was half the price of the Nook. I have games only on both. I don't read books. I can watch movies, play games, or surf Amazon for free apps. Wish I had bought a Kindle instead since B&N has nothing but expensive crap apps and no access to Google Play on previous models like mine. The new Nooks have access but "too little, too late"! My wife loves to read and I may give the nook to her. She has a Sony b&w reader that is getting old. The ebook boom may be over because the new tablets all have WiFi access so you can do a lot more than read!
gomer99
Aug 8, 2013 5:09 PM CDT
PAY to download digital bits ? Why not PAY to read newser or CraigsList ? Yeah....yeah....intellectual property.....blah, blah, blah.... ( nooks and kindles should be FREE, as the are just digital catalogues an restrict REAL internte access) Libraries and pirate sites give me every book I will ever want. Check Baen Free Library for an explanation of why FREE NEW books (by real writers, not wanna-be hacks) makes good business sense. ...bon apetite....