Posted December 13, 2017
Check out a sampling of our collection of slip-cased titles from Arcturus Publishing.
November 09, 2017
Five years ago, we wrote a blog post titled “Print Book vs. eBook” in which we explored the reasons why people prefer print books and the reasons why people prefer eBooks. We found that print books were preferred for the overall experience; going to the bookstore and browsing the selection before making a decision, picking up an old book off of the bookshelf and enjoying it again, moving the pages from the right side to the left side, and even enjoying the smell of the book. We found that eBooks were preferred mostly for accessibility reasons. eBooks are available for purchase and reading at any time and any place, usually at a lower cost than print books.
Five years later, not much has changed. The reasons to prefer one over the other, or to enjoy both, still hold true today. But what’s going on in the industry today? Is there now a clear “winner” in the print book vs. eBook debate? Let’s take a look at some trends:
Print is holding on
When eBooks gained popularity, there were many who believed that the end of print books would be near. Why pay more for a print book when you can get the same exact reading material via an e-reader for less? However, things haven’t played out that way. Print is holding on. In fact, unit sales of print books rose 3.3% in 2016 over 2015, making it the third-straight year of print growth, per Publishers Weekly. The trend continued into the first half of 2017. Print book sales were up 3% compared to that time period in 2016.
eBook sales have declined
eBook sales declined 18.7% over the first nine months of 2016 in the U.S., according to the Association of American Publishers. Sales of e-readers declined by more than 40% between 2011 and 2016, according to consumer research group Euromonitor International. According to the Pew Research Center, 65% of Americans reported reading a printed book in the past year, compared to only 28% who read an e-book. (Source)
While you might look at this data and think that eBooks are on their way out and that print books have prevailed, it’s really not so cut and dry. There is still a huge market interest in eBooks and the ease of entry to the market will ensure that authors continue to make their titles available via eBook. However, they’d be smart to also offer a print version, too.
What do you think? Do you have a preference? Have your preferences shifted any in the last 5 years? Let us know in social!