Over the past month, publications have been talking about the decline of eBook sales. There’s no denying that print books have once again risen in popularity – and I myself enjoy the visual appeal of them – but calling the demise of eBooks is a little premature and not entirely accurate. Some of the reasons given for the alleged decline were readers having ‘screen fatigue’ and publishers over charging for eBook versions.
However, there’s a little fact that needs to be considered when discussing eBook sales. The publications who have reported on the decline of eBook sales are only factoring in the eBooks that have an ISBN number attached. Amazon’s Kindle market place is the biggest distributor of eBooks and on this platform, assigning an ISBN number to your eBook is optional.
When you consider that 43% of Amazon’s Kindle library doesn’t have an ISBN number attached and they have the biggest market share of eBook sales, it’s easy to see that eBook sales are still relevant and far from being on a decline. Sure, you may begin to notice more people with paperbacks on the train, but those people don’t account for every reader in the world.
Services such as Kindle Unlimited also mean that people can fly through eBooks more than ever, at an extremely low cost. Furthermore, this kind of service based consumption doesn’t necessarily register as a purchase of the book. With Kindle Unlimited, the author still receives a royalty based on the amount of page reads they get; but there’s no way for this to register as an official sale of the book as the user is essentially just renting it.
With these considerations in mind, it would be unfair to call the demise of the eBook. So although I find myself picking up paperbacks much more than I did during 2010 – 2014, I still believe that the eBook has an unwavering significance in the book publishing industry.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!