THE BOOK BUSINESS IS BEING TURNED UPSIDE DOWN AT A TRULY ASTONISHING SPEED
IN NOVEMBER 2012, 28 PERCENT OF ALL BOOK PURCHASES IN THE U.S. WERE IN E-BOOK FORMAT—A DRAMATIC RISE FROM SIX PERCENT IN NOVEMBER 2010
When I was first published back in 1991—which doesn’t seem that long ago, as far as I am concerned, but is pre-history to many people—the book chains ruled the earth, and Barnes & Noble dominated the book chains.
Just over two decades later, the second largest book chain, Borders, is gone, and Barnes and Noble is looking sickly. What is more is that e-books—scarcely heard about until Amazon introduced the Kindle in 2007—have seized a truly significant market share.
Let me quote from mediabistro which is, in turn, quoting from Bowkers:
According to a new report from Bowker Market Research, U.S. chain bookstores lost 13 percent of their share of book purchases in 2012.
Overall, chain booksellers saw their share decrease from 32 percent to 19 percent of volume. At the same time, Bowker recorded some dramatic gains in U.S. eReatailers and digital book growth. Check it out:
In the U.S., e-retailers accounted for 44 percent of book purchases by volume in 2012, up from 25 percent in 2010. In the U.K. the rise has been somewhat less dramatic but still significant, up from 25 percent in January-November 2010, to 38 percent in the same period in 2012 … In November 2012, 28 percent of all book purchases in the U.S. were in e-book format — a dramatic rise from six percent in November 2010.