eBooks have grown to be a billion dollar business and now accounts for 27% of all book sales in the US. Print books are still holding their own and have only declined slightly in 2013 at a paltry 1%.
The decrease in tangible book sales is partly attributed to less books being printed. Bowker reports that 304,912 books were produced by traditional publishers in 2013 compared to 309,957 in 2012.
The non-traditional publishing sector was hit the hardest due to the rise of public domain and indie authors switching to digital. The print industries output for 2013 was projected at 1,108,183 titles, a decrease of 46% from its production of 2,042,840 titles in 2012 and a dramatic reverse from its 55% growth in 2012 over 2011.
It is very interesting to see the multitude of factors that make up that 1% decline in the print industry. Public domain titles such as Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice and Moby Dick are all available for free online, but in the stores they range from $5-$29 a pop.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.