It’s been no secret that ebooks have been outselling print editions for some time. One of the factors that weighs heavily on the decision for readers to purchase either digital or print editions is obviously the price, yet many industry watchers forget to include that key factor in the discussions of sales figures. As ebooks are usually less expensive than print editions, it should be fairly obvious that ebooks would fare better.
According to an article for Media Bistro, Dianna Dilworth explained that Hachette Book Group demonstrated this concept with a reflection of its overall sales figures. Those numbers showed a 5.2% drop in net profit but an increase in the number of titles sold in ebook format, as ebooks made up for 21% of Hachette’s total number of books sold in the third quarter of 2011. As ebooks have a smaller profit margin, that translated into smaller sales but more volume with a 134% increase in ebook sales over 2010.
According to Hachette, also to blame were the closings of several brick-and-mortar bookstores and chains which the publisher relies on to move print product. The loss of Borders in the past year means fewer retail outlets for print editions to be sold, as well as more people turning to online retailers and e-reading in the absence of a local book store.