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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

curated: are ebooks really on the outs?

I think not.

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  • RogerBW

    Just as with CDs, people have decided not to re-buy material they already own. Less money is being made. than some people would like Clearly the new technology has failed!

    Trendy dollars spend just as well as normal people dollars, and are much easier to gain in the short term. Obviously they don’t last.

  • Bluejay

    The article seems to shoot itself in the foot with the penultimate paragraph:

    The figures from the Publishing Association should be treated with some caution. They exclude self-published books, a sizable market for ebooks. And, according to Dan Franklin, a digital publishing specialist, more than 50% of genre sales are on ebook. Digital book sales overall are up 6%.

    It’s also not true that people aren’t reading ebooks on their phones. I don’t, but my wife and kid certainly do. It’s anecdotal, but still, I hardly think they’re outliers.

    While ebook sales are healthy, I *am* glad that physical books haven’t disappeared as once feared. I wonder if one factor is that, these days, lots of people like to *meet* the artists they like — at conventions, book tours, etc — in which case they’d want to have a physical item for them to sign. Hard to have an author sign an ebook.

    It would be interesting to see a study of why people have kept physical book sales alive in a way they really haven’t done for DVDs, CDs, or records (despite the vinyl “renaissance” which still seems to be a niche market for connoisseurs). Most people seem to be happy with — or at least have settled for — streaming their music and videos.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I’ve seen authors sign ereaders. I almost brought one to be signed by an author, whose books I have read almost exclusively on ebooks.. Three things stopped me: 1) I still had the copy of the first book from that author that I had read, which was a paperback, so that seemed appropriate; 2)the signing was being hosted by an independent bookstore, so I felt a moral obligation to buy a physical book from them to have signed; 3)I didn’t have a pen that would write permanently, and visibly, on either my ereader or the cover I owned for it.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I know this is a hobby horse of yours, but I still gotta ask: CDs?

  • Danielm80

    I love CDs. The sound quality is usually better, you get nice artwork and liner notes, and if you buy the album at a concert, you can ask the musician to sign it.

    Then again, I also love radio dramas and bestiaries and illuminated manuscripts—although, these days, I have trouble finding them anyplace but online.

  • RogerBW

    You may not remember, but CDs were briefly deemed to have “failed” in the early 1990s because many people refused to re-buy their music collections so sales didn’t grow as fast as the record companies wanted. Clearly MiniDisc was the way forward.

  • Tonio Kruger

    The above Guardian article has been brought to you by Goliath Books..

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