The future belongs to the E-book


The E-book. At the Frankfurt Book Fair, the E-word was aggressively buzzing around the stands. A handy electronic device, capable of containing thousands of digital books, the first version was produced just ten years ago, only to disappear again a few years later. However, this time around, the timing seems to be right. Is the printed book doomed, and will we in future take an E-book with us to the beach?


I wonder how many reading that article will believe that 8% of books sold in the U.S. today are ebooks? As opposed to the real number--that 8% of new books are available in ebook form. Actual sales? Possibly--possibly--$75 to $80 million at retail (U.S. figures taking the highest IDPF four-quarter numbers and doubling them, which is awfully optimistic), which is an enormous increase. But still, compared to $37 billion for books overall (BISG figures for 2007, U.S. sales), it's considerably less than one-half of one percent--about 0.2%.

Ah, but we also hear about the "death of" magazines because their growth might (might) end in five years, so predicting the death of print books because ebook sales may be up to almost one-quarter of one percent (assuming, of course, that these aren't additional sales) is par for the course.

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