I wrote earlier this week that publishers need to prepare for a decline in print-book sales that’s much steeper than what we have seen thus far, and that is likely to accelerate the reshaping of the industry. The reasons why this seems inevitable derive not from any intrinsic superiority of e-books, nor any growing technophilia or screen-tropism of readers, but rather from the structure of the market.
For one thing, e-book sales don’t replace p-book sales on a one to one basis, as my colleague Evan Schnittman points out in his post “E-Books Don’t Cannibalize Print, People Do.” Evan argues that once you have adopted an e-reader–whether it’s Kindle, Nook, or your iPhone–you soon give up buying print books. You become so happy with the convenience of instant purchase and the bookshelf-in-your-briefcase that you virtually give up purchasing hardcovers–in fact, he argues, you’ll simply forgo a title that’s not available in e-format.
I don’t think this holds true 100% for all readers…read more