Thursday, June 23, 2011

eBooks Changing More Than Just Formats

Beyond reading articles touting the eBook phenomenon, I have personally witnessed the shift in book sales from print to eBooks. In the first half of 2011, 72% of my book sales were eBooks. This contrasts with eBook sales of 33% for the first half of 2010. This is not a shift, this is a stampede.

There is an aspect of the eBook trend that is less obvious than the change in format: eBooks are shifting the timing of book purchases. In January of 2010, my total book sales dropped to 45% of my December sales, but my January 2011 sales were 81% of the sales in December of 2010. If eBooks alone are evaluated, the shift to after Christmas sales is even more dramatic. People who own eBook devices are voracious readers and what they want more than anything else is a gift card for their favorite online bookstore. For 2010, my top selling week for the year was the seven days after December 25th--almost all eBooks.

What does this mean for authors? It means authors need to reassess the timing of their promotional efforts. For example, I'm wondering how the heck do I get to readers on Christmas day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, and on their birthday?

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