I recently read an article from Fortune online about trends in sales of ebooks. With the release of sales numbers for 2015, many publishers are reporting drops in ebook sales and predicting traditional book sales will pick up. This Fortune article attempts to explain the whole picture. This is a chart they share:
Keep in mind that overall ebook sales might be slowing, but are still growing 1% or so a year. What’s changing is the publisher of those books. As you can see, traditional publishers are losing market share while independent publishers are gaining market share (go Indie!). The article goes on to predict that digital sales will continue to rise.
I used to go to the bookstore to buy my books. I would see displays created by the Big Five publishers to announce their new books. Often, I would buy them. Usually, independently published books are not carried in bookstores. They don’t have the same visual marketing ability.
Now, however, I browse for books online. Goodreads book recommendations, as well as book review blogs, now shape my buying decisions. Suddenly the exposure to all sorts of books has exploded–like it did for music when my sons bought their first iPods. I never pay attention to whether a book is independently published or not, but I do read reviews. I also leave reviews. In a future full of ebooks, those reviews will be golden to both authors and readers.
If you have never reviewed a book online, I encourage you to do so. Amazon reviews are easy to do. Be honest about what you liked and disliked, but be accurate. Friends of mine have had reviewers blast non-existent sex scenes and use the wrong main character’s name. Be specific, too. If you didn’t like something, say why. Bad reviews may punch an author in the gut, but if it’s honest they recover. Good reviews, too, should be specific. Too much gushing loses its impact. So say what you liked and say why. Say what you didn’t like and say why. Go ahead. Write a review today and help someone discover a new book to love! Especially if it’s one of mine. 🙂