ATG Article of the Week: Ebook Sales Slow, Strategies Shift

by | Apr 4, 2014 | 0 comments

 “Ebook Sales Slow, Strategies Shiftappears in the March issue of Econtent  and is written by freelance writer reports on a study of about 800 respondents entitled “The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers” that adds to the growing list of studies casting doubt on predictions forecasting the demise of print. The study found that “nearly 70% of consumers feel it is unlikely that they will abandon print books by 2016, as they have an emotional and visceral/sensory attachment to print books and possibly consider them a luxury item.”  The study further reports that “60% of downloaded ebooks are never read in the U.S.”  The usual reasons are given for the continuing allegiance to print including concerns about eye strain, the tactile experience and “the ability to add a print book to a bookshelf or library.”

On the flip side, does this mean problems for ebooks and their promoters? Probably not.  Ebooks are a relatively new technology and in a sense are still working out the kinks. As the article points out they will only improve in terms of user experience, especially when one considers possible value added enhancements like audio and video.  added to this ebook publishers are creatively experimenting with pricing, giveaway promotions, and the use of social media to generate buzz.

What comes through loud and clear is that print vs ebooks doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. As one observer notes “there will always be a place for the printed word, and both formats can and will coexist peacefully.”

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