Back in May 2011, Julie Brosnan wrote in her New York Times, "There is a Wild West quality to the book business these days."
She was talking about her experiences at BookExpo, the annual publishing trade show in Manhattan.
"E-Books have exploded," she said. For some new releases they were surpassing print sales. "The struggle for many brick-and-mortar bookstores has deepened as their customers began downloading books onto their e-Readers from home, rather than heading to stores."
I can attest to this personally. The friend for whom I always buy books as presents now has a Kindle. What the hell am I going to give her for Christmas?
The impressive figures for eBooks encompass romance, thrillers, and mysteries. They have not yet, thank God, penetrated the children's book market.
And a bit of confusing data has arrived. According to Publishers Lunch, the American Association of Publishers has just announced that sales of eBooks has gone DOWN. Last August (2010), the figure was $88.8 million. This August, the figure was $80.3 million. E-Book sales are currently just 15.6% of all recorded trade sales.
How to account for it? We must remember that while here in New Zealand the universities are oases of quiet and peace, the summer vacation having commenced, in the northern hemisphere millions of students are busily buying textbooks.
Significantly, perhaps, two university presses, Stanford and University of Nebraska, have been added to the AAP database.