Monday, January 17, 2011

More optimistic view on e-books than mine

Mark Coker (Smashwords founder) is predicting ebooks break 20% of dollar market share by year end 2011.

"1.Ebook sales rise, unit consumption surprises – Ebooks sales will approach 20% of trade book revenues on a monthly basis by the end of 2011 in the US, yet the bigger surprise is that ebooks will account for one third or more of unit consumption. Why? Ebooks cost less and early ebook adopters read more."

Anyone who reads JA's blog will agree with:
"4. Self Publishing goes from option of last resort to option of first resort among unpublished authors – Most unpublished authors today still aspire to achieve the perceived credibility and blessing that comes with a professional book deal. Yet the cachet of traditional publishing is fading fast."

There is more. The main point is that 20% of trade dollars... I disagree. I see the US market on a trend to achieve that in 2012. Total books later...

I should be clear, my predictions are for the US market and I predict in dollar, not volume, revenue.

The link is worth reading further.

A 2nd link:
On the transition to ebooks.

Some tidbits worth noting:
" Ebook prices are significantly lower than those of printed books, even though the actual cost difference for the publisher is on the order of $1 to $3.50. "

" Revenue still favors dead trees." Note: I happen to agree. So what? The 'trend is your friend.'

Basically the 2nd link goes on to note that publishing houses will invest more in big name blockbusters and less on other titles.

I've noted before that midlist is what will drive people to ereaders. It used to be that Borders and B&N stocked midlist to attract 'browsers' in to buy the best sellers in their stores (instead of Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, Safeway, etc.). In my opinion, there is no bookstore market without midlist. Time for B&N to set up POD coffee shops... seriously, change the model folks! The old one isn't much of a life raft.

Got Popcorn?


  1. I think it would be really fascinating if bookstores had a POD area "in the back". They could keep 1-2 copies of "current" books on the shelves, pay royalties when they print something to replenish stock/re-print out of print books. You'd never have to wait for it to come from another store... I suppose it would screw up print runs something fierce though.

    J. E. Medrick

  2. A couple of points to consider regarding POD bookstores:

    1. The technology is there to have POD printers onsite at a small retail shop. What is missing is the economics, since it still costs more per copy to do POD than a large print run. This is the same reason that the large blockbuster books continue to be so profitable for large publishers. On the other hand, having a POD bookstore would allow the bookstore to operate with significantly lower inventory, which would translate into both savings (books on the shelf are not making money while they are on the shelf, and in fact cost money until they are sold) and the ability of a relatively small amount of floor space to still give access to a large inventory of books.

    2. I like what B&N has done in turning some of their floor space into coffee shops and having it possible to browse with your Nook for a few hours a week. This turns the bookstore experience into a social experience, especially with book clubs, etc., and gives B&N something that Amazon cannot do. If it were possible to browse like that at a small terminal while you enjoyed coffee, and then have any book you wanted printed up to take home, this could change the dynamics of the bookstore experience. You can already download ebooks to your Nook in any B&N.

    3. I'd like to see this model adopted in local bookstores, along with access to ebooks. This would help defeat the tyranny of shelf space which has helped create the dangerous near-monopoly of a few large publishers in the past 20 years, and which has undercut the small bookstore and midlist author. If a small bookstore can compete on costs because it doesn't need to be so large to have access to the same large number of books, this will introduce healthy competition back into bookselling. Perhaps B&N and Borders could operate as franchises, licensing access to their online bookstores to smaller physical bookstores?

    Just some thoughts, anyway.

  3. I 100% agree on POD. Sorry for the late reply, but somehow blogger uses a different cookie for posting in my own blog and it was blocked. :(

    I really agree with the idea of putting in POD in the local bookstores. Heck, B&N, as I note in my latest post, should rip out the CD/DVD section and go POD.