Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ebooks vs Paper books

So much around these days about how books made of paper will be a thing of the past and we'll all be reading ebooks soon. Books you can shelve are doomed, dadidadida...

Well, this figure below may mean exactly nothing and doubtless there are all sorts of criteria one needs to take into account before extrapolating anything...

...but here's a statistic from sales of "The Last Stormlord" in UK, for the four months after publication. As far as I know the book was available on kindle from the get go, and possibly on other sites through other ereaders.

The Last Stormlord sold less than 1% of its sales through ebooks. To be precise, 0.74%. Make of that what you will. When I get the US figures, I'll put them up too.

11 comments:

Satima Flavell said...

It will be a while, I think, before e-sales catch up with hard copy. But they're doubling so fast that they could overtake print in the next decade if the increase continues at the same rate.

Sean said...

I just had a quick look. It's priced at $2 more than the paperback version and it's geo-restricted.

Stephen Theaker said...

I'm sure it will take a while for ebook sales to overwhelm paperback sales - if it'll ever happen.

In this case, though, the four months after publication would be March-June 2010, and the Kindle didn't start shipping from Amazon.co.uk until the end of August.

So that 1% was all to people who had gone to the trouble of importing Kindles from the US...

Gryphon said...

When Stormlord Rising came out, I checked to see if there was a Kindle version ... and there wasn't.

The Last Stormlord is eight pence cheaper than the paperback which, considering that you don't get colour artwork (or a map probably)seems just not enough.

glenda larke said...

Thanks for all the info, guys!

When I looked this morning, the Kindle version was 58p less than the reduced paperbook price, and substantially less than the real price plus postage.

It is certainly geo-retricted, as most books are. Amazon UK does not have the ebook rights for Malaysia on my books - Australia Harper Collins does.

Didn't realise that Kindle readers weren't sold in UK until so recently!I did see Kindle versions of The Last Stormlord right from the beginning, but I may be getting muddled - that could have been only in US.

As I pointed out to a friend, there are certain other pluses to an ebook besides portability: they don't go mouldy in the tropics and you don't have to dust them and you don't have to spend money on bookcases.

However, with ereaders at their present prices on Amazon, plus the quite pricey book, means that it's quite a long time before you pay off a Kindle in savings!!

Anonymous said...

ereaders seem to be moving towards affordable very quickly and offering enough benefits to justify it, I do not see paper books disapearing though.

some benefits, I have found,
Search! especially non-fiction, or even for fiction you want to re-read this is fabulous!
Portability - I can carry many books with me on a commute or on vacation.
I can order books from anywhere.

I think that ebooks need to get to the point of color to really make them beneficial.

For many books I like I buy the hard cover, and where I used to buy the paperback too, now I buy the ebook instead.

Anonymous said...

There is a solution to this. Sell e-books on flashdrives, or how you buy games for nintendo etc. That way people would be getting a 'thing' to keep rather than just floaty data.

Mit

Jo said...

I have been reading ebooks for years, before Kindle was ever invented. I read them on my Palm Zire which does a lot of things apart from carrying books. It does mean that I have very portable books and several of them as someone pointed out. However, I still prefer a good old fashioned paper book to read whilst I am sitting in my arm chair. I own close on 300 ebooks by the way, so I figure I am a fairly experienced ebook reader. They do take up a lot less room whereas when I had some 2,000 books they kind of had a room to themselves. I ended up thinning them down as I had transported them from England to Canada and then to the States. When I was moving back to Canada I decided to off load a lot of my stuff. I now use a library most of the time, except when it comes to certain authors like Glenda.

phishlady said...

I'm with Jo on using a library more now - I've run out of space, even with thinning my paperback collection. I'd buy ebooks, but normally they cost more than the paperback, plus I don't want one that's locked so I can't change its format if I get a different book reader. I don't want to be buying my book collection over again in 5 years, like going from VHS to DVD! I'm sad, because I'd much rather be buying the books and supporting the authors, but I just can't justify the price of ebooks right now, at least not the USA Amazon price.

Robin said...

Since the onset of the ipad, all the books I have read have been 'e', either from ibooks or KIndle for Mac. I much prefer it. I do believe this medium will take off.

I see Stormlord Rising is on Kindle in the US, but not UK. Is it coming to the UK Kindle Store or Apple iBookstore - please?

Glenda Larke said...

Robin, I sell the ebook rights along with the book rights, and it's up to the publisher when they do it, within the bounds of the contract. I suspect that some publishers leave it a few days or weeks after publication before they make the eBook available, rather like issuing the hardback first, paperback later.

So yes, it will be available as an ebook, but I'm not sure when. I actually can't view the kindle page because I cannot buy their books here, but perhaps they will put up a date of its availability?