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Sun Sept 26 2010 21:48:12

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

By: Ina Steiner

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Travel by plane, train, bus or subway, and you're bound to see someone reading on a Kindle or other ebook reader. Retail stores Best Buy and Target have sections devoted to ebook readers where you can try them out. And now you can purchase one for as low as $139 or $149 for an Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook or Sony Reader!!  

There are over 700,000 books in the U.S. Kindle Store, and Wall Street firm Cowen and Company believes the Kindle is on track to achieve sales of 5 million units in 2010.

How will the growing number of ebook reading devices impact sales of print books? Take the AuctionBytes survey and let us know what you think.

UPDATE 10/18/10: The results are in, you can find them in today's Newsflash article.




Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: Phil in MN

Mon Sep 27 16:23:11 2010

Speaking on vintage, collectible, or old books, most true book collectors want to have a copy of the actual book for collecting purposes, the vintage market sales won't be affected at all.
For sellers of NEW or recently published books, they will certainly see some downward effect on sales. But even casual readers that I know, still prefer an actual book in their hands versus a computer generated image. The cost structure of new books would have to greatly change before a really big effect will be noticed. What I mean is that, if books via Kindle could be purchased at a significant discount (at least 50% or more) versus the price a physical book could be bought for, than sales would definitely take a bigger hit.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: unaware This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 27 18:08:27 2010

At my age (52) I don't think it will be a big issue... people will still be buying hardcover and paperback books for a number of years. But if I was in my 20s or even in my 30s I don't think I would be buying up books to put up for sale on Amazon or eBay.... you might be OK if you specialize in high end signed first editions or some other specialization but the common used book market in 20 or 30 years will by vastly different then it is today. Paper books will be to reading what 78 and 45 records are to music listening today. Digital will beat out Analog every time in the long run.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: visa decline

Tue Sep 28 01:48:00 2010

I'm quite intrigued by eBooks, but the biggest bottleneck for me is pricing. Publishers still seem to think that if a mass market paperback sells for $14.95 then $6.32 (Difference between The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo print and kindle versions) is still a good deal. Frankly, with a bit of effort, I can find a used copy for about that price already in a used bookstore.

So...pricing is still nuts. I like to read comics. A new one on the stand is $3.99 but a digital copy is $1.99. Sorry--that's still effin' crazy in my view, and I'd still choose to do without.

Once the realize that digital copies of books should probably reflect used paperback prices...at best, then they'll get my business.

In the meantime, the one aspect that may make them more palatable would be access to magazines, newspapers and such. That MIGHT make it worth it. Still not ready to pop out $140 for one of these puppies when, at most, I read one or two books concurrently. Having the capacity of 1500 books all in one place makes not a whit of difference to me.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: Gailete
Web Site

Tue Sep 28 11:14:18 2010

I would much prefer getting a bag of books on bag day at FOL sales for my own reading enjoyment. ebook readers and ebooks are just too expensive for me. I think for a while many people will stick with real books. Can you imagine everyone in the family having to shell out for an ebook reader or else having to put their reading on hold till some other family member is done using it. I know they are out there and people are using them, but still a hard concept for me to wrap my head around.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: unaware This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 28 14:33:13 2010

I saw a report on the news a few weeks ago about a school that was experimenting with issuing all of their students a hand held device and all of the assignments were being handed out in text messages with the students expected to turn in their work electronically. Books won't go away quickly but as our youth get more and more ''wired'' and electronic devises become the norm (both in and out of the classroom) then the demand for paper books will fall. Like I said above, it won't affect most of us but if I was young and starting out as a on-line seller I would certainly pay attention to these trends and plan my selling activities accordingly. I don't own a Kindle yet but will be buying one soon... I enjoy reading fiction in a real book format but the ability to store all of my non-fiction purchases in one place and be able to search the indexes electronically sure would be helpful in the long run... especially for investment, business and retirement related books.      

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: william

Tue Sep 28 14:51:00 2010

I'm in the habit of giving pocketbooks to others. I also drop off my new or old books at the senior center. When I meet a young person who likes to read, but can't afford it, I give them whatever books I can. Don't think I can afford to give Kindles to strangers, or bedridden GI's or navy RR centers. I know there is a place for kindles, if I was in college, I would like to reduce the number of books i carried around.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: BBB
Web Site

Wed Sep 29 13:32:06 2010

Ebooks still represent a tiny minority of book sales,although that segment is growing.

Ebooks are growing in popularity, yes, but there are many ereader owners who continue to buy both print and e versions.

Digital Rights Management issues (lack of a universal file format, georestrictions, inability resell or lend) as well as Agency Pricing models are just two factors that will prevent the extinction of print books.

The mistake, here, is to think of this issue as e vs print. There is room, and will continue to be room, for both.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 29 14:51:19 2010

i get asked if i am worried about ebooks often these days.  my reply is always "not until they come out with signed 1st ed ebooks".

seriously though, ebooks will replace physical books as the prefered reading format.  but it will take a generation (20 or so years) for it to completely happen.  first it will be mainly newspapers and textbooks, then as those kids grow older, books will follow.  however there will always be a market for bound books, it will become more of a collectors market with small print runs and probably a resurgence of signed limited edtions. if i could, i would stow away all of my books for 20 years because i believe their value will only increase.

btw, my prediction is that we will see a reader for under $100 by christmas, possibly even kindle.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: Me This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 30 03:09:12 2010

I don't think it'll take 20 years for e-readers to squeeze out printed versions of books.  Witness what's happening to newspapers as more people get their news from the web. Across the country, old and venerable newspapers are folding, while many others are cutting reporters and increasing ad sales staff in an effort to stay in the black.

As the proportion of electronic-to-printed versions of books increases, the price of the printed versions will rise precipitously, and people will migrate to the e-readers accordingly.  

I predict that in 10 years or less, the majority of books sold will be electronic versions.  

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: nobody

Thu Sep 30 20:00:30 2010

nah, i like the feel of a real book in my hands while manually turning the pages :)

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: The real Lisa

Fri Oct 1 17:42:30 2010

I'm with those who love the feel of a real book in their hands. I read mostly non-fiction and I love the historical photographs and maps that are included in the books I read. I also rely heavily on footnotes.

My mother has a kindle. It has been a god-send for her because she had a stroke that wiped out her peripheral vision and she nearly went blind. Her kindle has made reading possible for her again. She is extremely thrilled.

However, we both just read the same book - she read it on her kindle and I read the hardcover edition. When I made a comment about a map that I had referred to frequently, she had no idea it was even included in the book!

Until eBooks make it easier to flip to maps, photos, and footnotes, I won't be buying one anytime soon.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: Chris
Web Site

Sun Oct 10 19:58:29 2010

As a remainder bookseller e-readers worry me a little. I think publishers will start printing less copies of books which will mean less remainder books available.  

Some books will take awhile to replace but others such as Text Books, Computer Books, etc. will be gone in no time, they will all be in e-reader format. Popular Fiction printed books will be cut in half.

I don't know anyone who owns an e-reader except one that my husband got his work to buy (for downloading computer books.) I think we will see big changes in the book industry but it will be 3 - 5 years down the road when publishers start adjusting their printings and Mega Bookstores try to figure out what to do.

The exciting part is it will be easier than ever to publish your work. Writers who haven't been able to get their works published will be cropping up everywhere giving consumers a whole new world to explore.

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon Oct 18 20:45:09 2010

The survey results are in, thanks for taking the survey and for sharing your thoughts!

http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y10/m10/i18/s01

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: Pete Martet
Web Site

Thu Oct 21 13:56:16 2010

I agree with person who pointed out eBooks make no sense from a cost perspective if you consider used books. Our new tool for finding the lowest prices online makes eBooks look expensive.
www.BargainBookMole.org: The fastest, easiest, kindest, and free way to dig for the lowest used and new book prices online (Find out why we're the most downloaded Firefox add-on for book buyers [also super fast searches  possible right from our website & great Internet Explorer add-on too])

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: Pete Martet
Web Site

Thu Oct 21 13:56:53 2010

I agree with person who pointed out eBooks make no sense from a cost perspective if you consider used books. Our new tool for finding the lowest prices online makes eBooks look expensive.
www.BargainBookMole.org: The fastest, easiest, kindest, and free way to dig for the lowest used and new book prices online (Find out why we're the most downloaded Firefox add-on for book buyers [also super fast searches  possible right from our website & great Internet Explorer add-on too])

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: Diane

Sat Apr 2 12:41:03 2011

Has anyone though about the people that will become unemployed because  there will be less books printed? I know new technology helps us move forward, but are we really moving forward where jobs are being lost?

Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales   Kindle or Paperbacks: How eBook Readers Affect Book Sales

by: gokartmozart This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 5 07:25:15 2014

There's something very comforting about reading a printed book. Curl up in bed with a good Kindle? It just wouldn't be the same.



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