It’s been years since the onset of the most recent digital publishing and e-reading revolution, and the results are still reporting that print is a favored mode for reading among consumers, but that ebooks are still on the rise. According to data released yesterday from Nielsen, ebook sales in the UK alone increased by 20% last year.
In an article by Lisa Campbell for The Bookseller, Campbell reported, “E-books accounted for one in four consumer book purchases, up from one in five a year earlier. One in five of those purchases were self-published titles, according to the research, representing 12% of the spending on e-books. Self-published fiction titles typically sold for much less than professionally published titles – at £2 – whereas mainstream fiction e-books typically sold between £3-4.99. Around 40% of e-book purchases in 2013 were on adult fiction titles, compared with 33% in 2012, with adult fiction e-book sales rising to one in eight buys and children’s digital books representing a tenth of e-book sales.”
Even more importantly, one in five ebooks sold was self-published. Apart from the validation that statistic provides for indie authors in terms of readers’ willingness to invest in self-published titles, it also had an important impact on the book industry as a whole, especially as it pertains to consumers’ spending.
“The rise in self-publishing meant that in 2013, the average price paid for fiction e-books dropped to around 60% of that paid for fiction paperbacks,” Steve Bohme of Nielsen said in a presentation at Nielsen’s Books & Consumers Conference.