Ebook sales–will they remain stable, go up, or as some would-be-hopeful’s keep insisting, go down?

Tablet

Read e-books on your tablet.

So, here we are, the end of 2014 nearly upon us and we’re all wondering what’s going to happen in ebook world next year.

This year, we were lucky to have some great research and analysis on the industry from Author Earnings — see my article at: http://aksomitis.com/2014/07/e-book-sales-statistics-every-author-needs-to-know-before-signing-a-book-deal/

Here are a few more interesting stats from that report on e-publishing in general:

  • 86% of the top 2500 selling titles on Amazon were ebooks (combined traditional and indie published). The remaining 14% of sales were audio books and print books.
  • 150 authors of those top 2500 titles each earned over $100,000 a year on Amazon
  • Nielson sales statistics, according to Dennis Abrams at Publishing Perspectives, indicate that in the first half of 2014 ebooks had 23% of unit sales, with hard cover at 25% and paperback at 42%. The article, however, doesn’t account for the missing 10% of sales…which seems like a whole lot more audio books, the only format missing, than one would expect.
  • The AAP, however, (see below) reported in December, 2014, that overall ebook sales increased by 5.6% in trade publishing, even though they’d been thought to be in decline. They had marked e-book sales in 2013 for adult markets at 26.6%.

Take a quick review of the growth of e-book sales with this video:


The AAP (Association of American Publishers) weighed in this December as well, reporting on sales so far in 2014. In good news, as reported on a Flavorwire analysis of the report, book sales were up 4.9% overall. No matter what formats you publish in, that’s good news!

I found the most interesting statistics, though, were those on the rising popularity of Children’s and Young Adult books — a whooping 23% overall. Writers in this genre can pat themselves on the back and celebrate, that’s for sure.

Children’s ebook publishers have even more cause to celebrate, since that category is up by nearly 53%!

The tough thing about publishing for children though, is that kids and young adults generally declare they prefer reading print books compared to the ebook format. Add that to parents worrying about how much time their kids are spending in front of monitors and it can be tough to figure out how to market to this age group.

Series are the one thing that both authors and publishers know attract young adults. And, book sellers are becoming increasingly aware, also draw adults to books marketed as children’s, young adult, and new adult.

While novels with storylines that also appeal to adults seem to be the biggest winners in reading trends in 2014, there’s lots of hope for picture authors on the horizon too.

Why?

Well, while novels for young reader ebooks are formatted exactly the same way as adult materials, seeing a picture book in reflowable text often detracts from its appeal. Instead of extras like creative borders and text inside print images, everything is blocked in one long–often boring–line.

The good news is that the three largest ebookstores have all released free tools for the authors of illustrated books. That promises a revolution coming, to be sure!

If you’d like to learn more about the capabilities of each tool for creating fixed format ebooks, check out this article from EBook Architects: http://ebookarchitects.com/ learn-about-ebooks/childrens-ebooks/

Think animations and videos and pop-up boxes with information for readers. It all sounds very exciting, doesn’t it? However, many of these books will need to be viewed on a tablet rather than a dedicated e-reading device until e-reader technology catches up to the latest formats.

So, my predictions for 2015:

  • A 50% increase in the number of fixed format children’s ebooks published due to the availability of new fixed format ebook creation tools
  • A corresponding 50% increase in the number of children’s ebooks purchased
  • A steady 5% growth in overall ebook market share

What are your predictions for ebooks in 2015?

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