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Paperbooks Make a Comeback as People Put Down eBooks...


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While my personal preference for reading is supported by this video, my sites sales do not quite reflect this trend—yet.

eBook sales growth has differently peaked; sales have not continued to grow over that last couple of years, on my site.  However eBook here are running neck in neck with physical book sales.  Some months eBook sales exceed physical books sales but never more than single digit percentages.  But over the course of a calendar year, physical books have always outsold ebooks on AALBC.com.

I believe this is really a function of the recession (depression in the Black community).  Reading a newly purchased hardback book is still a luxury, both in terms of cost and mental effort.  Increasingly folks turn to social media for diversion; the effort is minimal, and there is no additional expense.

Unless attitudes change, and the economy for the middle class improves, eBooks will probably remain a strong competitor for paper based books.


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I agree with your statement. Reading has to become sexy again in the black community for book sales to increase, but I see more digital downloads than physical copies from what I do. I think that may be because I don't do any book signings and I'm just not very good at the promotional aspect of it all.

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I was researching American trends, and there seems to be a similar trend in the Broader US market which mirrors what is happening in Canada,  A 2013 PW (Publishers Weekly article, “Mixed Blessing in Slowing E-book Sales, cited Kensington's CEO who called the declining growth of eBooks sales “a mixed blessing.”  I find that an almost shocking statement to come from a CEO of a publishing company.  If there is a market for a product you provide why on Earth would a decline in sales be anything but bad news? I guess that just illustrated how jacked up the business models are in publishing.

More recently;

E-book Sales Dropped in First Quarter
By Jim Milliot, Jul 16, 2015
First-quarter e-book sales were down 2.5% and 36.6% in the adult and children’s/young adult categories, respectively, according to figures in AAP’s StatShot program. With sales of hardcover and paperback also down, first quarter sales in the children’s/ya category fell 15.9%.

Big Drop in E-book Sales Led to Soft 2014 at HBG
By Jim Milliot, Feb 10, 2015

E-book sales took a big hit at HBG in the fourth quarter, comprising 19% of trade sales in 2014 down from 27% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Once again, Lagardere blamed a stronger publishing schedule in 2013 and the Amazon dispute for the drop in e-book sales. For the full year, e-book sales accounted for 26% of all trade revenue, down from 30% in 2013. HBG added some more details to digital results, noted that the combination of e-book and downloadable revenue represented 30% of net sales last year compared to 33% in 2013.

It is interesting to note that the average sales price for the top 5 selling eBook is 12 bucks! Visit PW for the full list.  The average ebook sales price for AALBC.com is closer to $1.  That combined with the negligible commissions generated by those sales have put a serious damper in revenue from commissions on book sales.  Still I would not want to see ebooks go away, I just want people to read more and buy more book through AALBC.com.

Top 25 E-Book Bestsellers, First Quarter 2015

1The Girl on the TrainPaula HawkinsPenguin$12.99
2Fifty Shades of GreyE.L. JamesRandom House$9.99
3American SniperChris KyleHarperCollins$21.99
4All the Light We Cannot SeeAnthony DoerrSimon & Schuster$13.99
5Fifty Shades DarkerE.L. JamesRandom House$9.99

We, Black folks I mean, tend to lag the rest of the industry in our behavior, at least that has been my observation.  Slower to adopt technology, slower to react to changes in the industry, and slower to recover when things turn around.  So I'm confident Black folks will come around to buying more physical books again, it just will take longer than we we are seeing in the broader markets.



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I think my few sales are ebooks because they are quick read business books. I don't sell any fiction at all. The one fiction book I sold, the lady gave it 1 star on Amazon because it was fiction and she thought it was non-fiction. I actually write her and asked her why she blamed her lack of reading the back cover and all of the tags that read fiction and she said, "all handbooks should be non-fiction, you lied." crazy stuff.

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Chris I pay ZERO attention the the reviews on Amazon because most of them are worthless.  I stopped posting there long ago, because Amazon won't even allow you to put a hyper link back to your website.  So not only do they want me free book review they won't even give me the courtesy of a reciprocal link!?

Occasional I'll post a review if an authors asks, but I don't even do that anymore.

Now if you have one review and it only got one star, that does not look good and I can understand your reaction.  But again this is Amazon's problem.  They don't give a crap. Now if we posted a review you best believe ample consideration was given before posting especially if it was unfavorable.


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