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e-Book sales, hype and reality

The extremely talented author*, Lucy A. Snyder, has written a very interesting article for Horror World “More on Amazon Rank Tracking and Ebook Sales“. She has links within the article to previous articles on the same subject.

This is the first article I’ve seen from an author with actual analytics of the ‘success’ of the e-books.  Lucy, a conscientious and thorough researcher, details her sales from Amazon on e-books. I urge you to go read it.

This fascinates me. I’ve been wondering who is buying all the e-books (other than libraries) since I hear how incredibly successful they are and how THEY WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD.  I do like e-books. I was a hard convert – it wasn’t until I got the iPhone and downloaded some free books from Gutenberg Press that I realized how lovely these books can be.  I still prefer a paper version for reading but was overjoyed to have a book at my fingertips wherever I find myself in need (long line? waiting for your friend to join you at lunch? Open the e-book reader and enjoy!).

I knew there was spin in the marketing but these numbers flabbergasted me. “If you said it is so, it will be so” seems to be the mantra. I’m really not that much of a Luddite, I think e-books are waving us into the future. I think the ‘green’ nature of them (as well as the portability) will help on the road to success but I just don’t think we’re there yet.  Again, I have to go back to $$$$. Not everyone has the $$$ to get a e-book reader. Not everyone has the $$$ to get any sort of electronic device to read e-books. Not everyone …well, you’ve heard that rant before.

Lucy’s final paragraph eloquently states my feeling:

So, bibliophiles can put down their Xanax prescriptions; everything’s fine. Ebooks aren’t crowding out the “real” books … they’re just giving readers a delightful variety of options.  And that’s a beautiful thing.

*disclosure, Lucy and I have been friends since college but I do not use hyperbole to describe her. She is extremely talented, dedicated, and darned nice too. Oh and she’d be a great librarian – she has several cats already (oh come on! Stereotypes exist to mock).

Categories: books, e-books Tags: ,
  1. October 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Cool post! Let me share with you this article I read recently:


    And rather than me talk about it here, I blogged about it here:


    That said, I too like to occasionally read on my iPad – my New York Times reading is primarily done on there, and I wish I could read The New Yorker on there as well (but you have to pay, even though I am a subscriber). I even downloaded and read ARLIS NA’s cataloging guidelines on there.

    But, like you pointed out – reading on the screen does not replace (or even really replicate) reading a book.

    On another note – cats? My wife and I have one, and we love cats!

  2. October 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Excellent! Thanks Jason! And OMG, I did a Twain-corrupted quote too back in March in the post “Books are DEAD”. I am SO glad to see the techies talking about this too, that is not just us little ol’librarians (and now the novelists).
    Yes, you are a librarian-to-be, cat love is a requirement. Did you yet get to the class on tucking a handkerchief up your sleeve? Pulling down your glasses to glare over as you SHHHH people? I joke because I care. I have no live pets, no handkerchief and I seldom SHHHH people.

  1. January 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm

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