Ebook growth by the numbers #infographic via Forbes
It is a rare person these days that hasn’t read at least one eBook lately. eBooks are an $8 billion industry, but are they as much of a threat to the “ink and paper” business as they are being given credit for? Not quite. While eBooks are convenient, usually less expensive (and often free), and instantly available, people are still not willing to completely turn from the ink and paper books that they grew up with. In fact, only 6% of internet users report that they exclusively read eBooks.
The infographic above is based on the Statista report on eBooks published in May of 2014. As I mentioned before, eBooks are generating over $8 billion a year–a staggering sum–but still only about 1/6 of all books sales globally. And sales of eBooks have plateaued, showing no new growth since 2012.
So what does this mean for the publishing industry? When eBooks were first introduced less than a decade ago, analysts were quick to predict the demise of the printed word, however if recent trends are any indication people are actually returning to their ink and paper preferences. While eBooks are a part of the technology revolution that has taken our world by storm, and will likely remain a significant competitor, they are a long way from taking over the publishing industry.