As has become customary at this early point in the New Year, we shall shortly be hearing reports of another bumper Holiday season for the Kindle and how Amazon has sold an even increasing proportion of Kindle ebooks. There will also be some voices complaining that end of a 500 year old tradition of the printed book is approaching an end and something should be done to stop that.
However it is worthwhile noting that only until very recently “physical” music i.e. CDs outsold downloaded music, as highlighted in the Global Recorded Music Market Forecast. Considering the iPod (the musical equivalent of the Kindle) has been around for 11 years, this digital revolution is taking its time coming. We can expect the relatively more conservative print industry to take an even longer time to change.
Five years after the launch of the first Kindle, publishers’ book sales tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the month of October show that eBooks make up 20% of the printed sales. The advantages of eBook over Books, particularly the convenience and cost saving ones, are such that books will follow the same path as CDs, albeit over a longer timescale.