Amazon has announced that e-book sales has outpaced print book sales. So, how significant is that news?
I think it’s very significant, but it isn’t omni-significant. In other words, print books aren’t going to be extinct any time soon.
Note that these sales do not represent a book-by-book comparison of print-to-digital sales ratios. It’s an aggregate total. For the past three months, Amazon.com has sold more e-books than print books. That doesn’t include free book downloads.
The real significance of this news is that Amazon has been selling print books for 15 years. It’s been selling digital books, or e-books, for less than three years. Given that, I think we can expect that print book sales will start to decline while e-book sales will start to increase. This may be gradual over time (how gradual is anyone’s guess), but it’s a reasonable expectation.
So does that mean you should publish an e-book? Should you publish an e-book and forget about the print book? Yes. And No.
Yes to you should publish a book, e-book or otherwise, if you have something to say. You should publish it as an e-book if you want to reach the Kindle market (and I think the Kindle market is quite different than your ordinary print book sales market). But if your book is truly worth publishing then you should consider publishing as a print book as well.
I’m looking forward to the future of e-books. Aren’t you?