Has the eBook affected the book market, and rid it of all physical paper copies? I suppose we won’t have a definitive answer to that question for a couple of years yet, however, we can certainly predict where things seem to be heading for the future.
1Q84 (image source and credits)
2011 saw a 54% rise in the sales of eBooks, making them worth £241 million in the publishing industry. eBook sales now represent 8% of the overall sales of books in the market, rising from the 5% it represented back in 2010.
Taking into account the amount eBook sales have risen in accordance with the percentage of overall sales they make up, it shows that the public, in the most part, opt for the traditional physical book rather than its digital rival. Despite this however, the amount of independent and high street bookstores that have been forced to close for financial reasons in the past five to six years would seem to go as evidence against those statistics.
When looking at the cost comparisons between physical books and eBooks, it is clear to see that there is a damaging difference in pricing. Series and volumes of books like the 1Q84 collection, or the Fifty Shades Trilogy, are available for a small fraction of the price of the physical counterparts. But some classics, like The Art of War are almost free to purchase, not quite, but near enough. And some
literary classics genuinely are available as free downloads!
Fifty Shades of Grey (image source and credits)
Sun Tzu: The Art of War (image source and credits)
Although 8% of the overall book market may not seem like a lot, the pricing of them can have huge consequences to the economic model of the market, something that will greatly harm smaller, more independent bookstores. With eBooks already holding a £241 million share of the book market – an 8% representative – it shows just how much money there is in books. However, with the number of eBook sales increasing every year, the proportion of the market and the stake which it is worth is only going to grow and grow until it becomes the undoubtedly dominant force.