Reaction to the NYT Piece on Slipping Ebook Sales

Reaction to the NYT Piece on Slipping Ebook SalesThe New York Times ran a front page piece earlier this week detailing how ebook sales are slowing and the life of the print book is therefore far from over.

The piece has been criticized for its seeming lack of insight into the data it used to arrive at its conclusions.

“While people who work in book publishing likely shrugged at the combination of well-established trends and selective interpretation,” writes Michael Cader in Publishers Lunch, “you started hearing from relatives and friends who thought there was something here worthy of, say, congratulations.”

“So ‘Print books not dead’ now officially joins the pantheon of comic tropes, somewhere between the Monty Python sketch and Generalissimo Francisco Franco,” Cader continues. “But let’s be clear among ourselves on at least a few of the facts.”

Much more.

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NYT Mistakes Trade Publishing Stats for Market Stats (Digital Reader)
Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader offers his reaction to the Times piece. “To look at the AAP data and say that the ebook market is down is an example of wishful thinking, confirmation bias, or what have you,” Hoffelder writes. “But no matter what the motivations, the simple fact is the data does not support the claim. And as for the rest of the NYTimes piece, that is just window dressing.”

No, Ebook Sales Are Not Falling (Fortune)
Reacting to the Times’s piece, Mathew Ingram writes, “I thought it raised two important questions, neither of which was really answered conclusively in the piece (although the second was hinted at). Namely: 1) Are e-book sales as a whole dropping, or just the sales of the publishers who are members of the AAP? And 2) Isn’t a drop in sales just a natural outcome of the publishers’ move to keep e-book prices high?”

The Future of Literary Consumption Is Unwritten (Flavorwire)
News from the Association of American Publishers that digital sales have dropped by 10 percent in the first five months of 2015 has prompted big publishing to build and expand warehouse space for print books. But it isn’t just the precipitous decline in sales that is driving publishing back to the arms of print. Increasingly, readers—including young readers—prefer a mix of digital and print books, with a tendency to favor the latter.

Lackluster First Quarter for Scholastic (PW)
At Scholastic, revenue for the first quarter ended August 31st inched up 0.3 percent, to $191.2 million, over the first period of fiscal 2015. The net loss increased to $49.4 million from $34.1 million a year ago. The best performing unit was the children’s book publishing and distribution group, which had a 15-percent increase in revenue, to $68.1 million in the period.

Scribd Expands Audiobook Catalog with Major Publishers (Digital Reader)
Subscription ebook service Scribd says it has just added more than 10,000 audiobook titles to its catalog. Scribd had previously carried around 30,000 titles under a contract with Findaway, and now it’s adding titles from Hachette, Macmillan, HighBridge Audio, Tantor Audio and Recorded Books.

Author Solutions and Alliant International University Partner to Launch Alliant Press (Yahoo)
Author Solutions, LLC, a Penguin Random House company and the world’s leading supported self-publishing services provider, and Alliant International University announced Wednesday the launch of Alliant Press, the first-ever university press to utilize the supported self-publishing model.

Cornelia Funke Joins Self-Publishing Revolution (Guardian)
The writer Cornelia Funke, who imagined a world in which readers can summon characters out of books, will be unleashing a whirlwind from the pages of her latest novel herself, as she becomes the latest major author to join the self-publishing community. And it’s all because of an opening scene.

Japan’s BookWalker to Launch in English at NY Comic-Con (DBW)
Kadokawa, one of Japan’s largest media, entertainment, and publishing companies is launching an English language version of BookWalker, their ebook online store in Fall 2015. Promotions will kick off at New York Comic-Con 2015, along with the addition of over 700 comic and prose titles in English—many exclusive to BookWalker.

SpotlightHow to Save Online Advertising (Guardian)
The answer isn’t complicated; it’s just hard. Arrive at a technical, economic and/or legal means by which publishers can be trusted to serve ads themselves, without the ad counters interposing themselves in the mix.

One thought on “Reaction to the NYT Piece on Slipping Ebook Sales

  1. James Wustler

    Unless Amazon breaks out sales numbers, which will never happen, it’s anyones guess what their share of the ebook market it. Since we don’t kbnow about Amazon, we’ll go with the concencus from every other publishre on eaeth, which is that ebook sales are declining, and at best flat.

    There’s a scene in one of the Ghostbusters movies from the 80’s where one of them says ‘Print is Dead!’. That remains the joke.



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