The many reasons e-book sales are slipping

old_bookI value books for their content, not their format. However … I tried e-books and just could not stick with them.

On the other hand … I tried e-books on my cell phone, not an e-reader, and I still sell e-books on Kindle and Nook.

So where does that leave me on the recent news that sales of e-books and readers are plateauing while paper codex sales are making gains?

Well, I agree with the analytic consensus that it’s probably more about market saturation and waning e-book novelty than anything else.

However, there’s also a good chance that sales could pick up if e-readers evolve to match some of the benefits of paper books, for example by emphasizing dual-page reading and providing graphical margins that give a sense of the reader’s progress. As we’ve seen, features that enable readers to keep the sequence of text clear in their minds constitute the single key difference in reader experience.

What I cannot agree with is the triumphalism of paper fetishists claiming that e-books are “out of fashion” or that Kindle sales have “all but disappeared.” Pumping your fists in front of a Mission Accomplished banner is pretty much always a bad sign, guys.

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