by Nicole Usiondek, Head Editor, INALJ Michigan
Is the eBook Craze Over?
Recent data is suggesting that the eBook craze is over. I was resistant to eBook readers when they first came out. After testing out the Amazon Kindle App on my phone for a few months, I realized I would be able to adjust to the new format. I now use my Kindle on a daily basis, but this doesn’t mean I am buying as many eBooks as I used to buy and it seems others are following suit.
eBook sales have flattened. After years of triple digit sale increases, there was only a 43% increase last year. USA Today published an article discussing the possible scenarios that were impacting eBook sales. I think all of the reasons discussed in the article are plausible and each may be impacting eBook sales, but for me personally it is the cost of eBooks that has prevented me from making as many purchases as I have in the past.
I will admit it: during the two years I had my Kindle, I was buying books on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. I enjoyed looking at what books were available and I loved the speed of the delivery. I also loved that I could carry 1,000 books in a tiny little device. Eventually, I started seeing how much my indulgences were hitting my bank account and I stopped purchasing so many books. I told myself that once the eBook prices dropped (because in my mind they would drop) I could resume my weekly purchases.
That was back in 2010 and I have not seen eBook prices drop. In fact, they seem to be rising. On more than one occasion I have found paperbacks to cost less than the eBook version. I enjoy being a thrifty person and I cannot justify spending more on an eBook just because of the ease of delivery. I was/am the same way about hardcover books; unless it is a book I plan on displaying, I will purchase the less costly format.
I am curious why eBook prices haven’t dropped. I would love to know if it does cost less to publish eBooks versus physical copies. I do know that I still plan on using eBooks, but until their prices drop, I am being more frugal in my personal eBook collection development.