Is The Kindle Market Facing A Downturn.

24 replies
What has happened to the Golden Egg ?

The once rapid growth of ebook sales has made a dramatic downturn and slowed and there is some evidence it has gone into reverse.

Meanwhile are paper books making a comeback.
#downturn #facing #kindle #market
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by research View Post

    Is The Kindle Market Facing A Downturn.
    I didn't think it was quite a "downturn" yet, to be pedantic?

    But throughout the publishing and bookselling world, a huge debate is certainly opening up and being reinforced on the hugely decreasing growth rate of Kindle sales (especially after this recent Christmas sales were such a disappointment), while trade publishing - as you mention - is certainly now increasing at a faster rate than has been seen for some years.

    Originally Posted by research View Post

    What has happened to the Golden Egg ?
    It probably always had some kind of "maximum penetration level" (or nearly - I'm using the expression a little loosely, perhaps ) and it's very nearly reached it, now.

    Technically, it may perhaps continue to expand a little, as populations grow and economies strengthen ... albeit not at nearly the same rate as trade publishing?

    Originally Posted by research View Post

    The once rapid growth of ebook sales has made a dramatic downturn and slowed
    Yes indeed. This has been the case for a little while, now, and the most recent figures, widely commented on in the trade, confirm it.

    Originally Posted by research View Post

    and there is some evidence it has gone into reverse.
    I haven't seen that. Yet. But your information is probably just slightly more up-to-date than mine.

    There have also been quite a lot of new psychology/neurophysiology research findings published, over the last year or so, related to "digital reading", which have had rather a negative effect on the "digital books world" and predicate a dampening down of some of the recent years' enthusiasm about digital publishing. I've seen these discussed, increasingly, in recent months, in a few scientific and other journals, and they're now starting to spill over into the mass print-media, too: I see even newspapers openly discussing whether routinely reading ebooks rather than physical ones is "good/suitable/helpful for you". There's certainly a lot of negativity about, at the moment, in some section of the media, around "digital books". It's even reached - in some places - a "metadiscussion" level in which the media are commenting about "digital book negativity in the media".


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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Personally I prefer physical books to digital versions. Physical Books have come down in price, especially for people like me living down-under where everything usually costs 2-3 times more.

    -Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I know a lot of authors were complaining that their book sales had
    taken a dive after Amazon introduced its Kindle Unlimited program
    for $9.99 per month. I don't know if this program is wholly to blame
    for the decrease. The downside of self-publishing becoming so much
    easier and available is that quality has dropped. Of course Amazon
    tried ti reign this in with the PLR banning, but time will tell as the market
    settles.

    http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014...lass-citizens/

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingva
    I'm spending a hundred bucks a month on Kindle books so it doesn't look like a downturn to me!

    Bonnie
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    • Profile picture of the author mfarringtonweb
      Originally Posted by marketingva View Post

      I'm spending a hundred bucks a month on Kindle books so it doesn't look like a downturn to me!

      Bonnie
      I agree! I love my kindle!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Originally Posted by research View Post

    What has happened to the Golden Egg ?

    The once rapid growth of ebook sales has made a dramatic downturn and slowed and there is some evidence it has gone into reverse.

    Meanwhile are paper books making a comeback.
    Nope, no down turn from where I'm sitting. Many of the research firms that I follow are still showing that ebooks sales are on the rise and that there is no sign that paper back books are making any kind of comeback.

    I've only been a Kindle author for about a year and my sales continue to go up, but that's because I invested in some awesome training and I follow what my coach tells me to do.

    For example, I changed the cover on one of my books, just the cover, and sales increased by over 70% and it still continues to sell well. I also ran a promotion for another ebook (which I just decided I'm going to turn into a series) and that bumped up my sales.

    RoD
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      There are always going to be great markets of readers to tap into. Many of those markets are full of people who crave the next fix of story reading simply to get them through the week.

      There are hundreds if not thousands of these genres and sub-genres, packed to the brim avid readers waiting for new books to read. It is awesome.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rainbowdisplay
      Hey Rod, mind if I ask you what training you used?
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisDouthit
    I prefer reading physical books to digital books if everything else was equal.

    It is far easier to me to carry my Kindle device than to carry separate books when I travel, which is a big one for me. I also like the fact if I buy a Kindle book I get the book right away verses having to wait for two days. Lastly Kindle books are almost always cheaper.

    For these reasons I still prefer a Kindle book over a physical book.
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    • Profile picture of the author Umslopogas
      As I understand it, the sales figures reported only apply to trad pub ebooks. Amazon doesn't report figures for indie authors who are a massive chunk of the market.

      The indie market could grow or shrink and no one would know except Amazon. In fact, if trad pub ebook sales are slowing it might indicate that indie ebooks are on the rise.
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  • Profile picture of the author pilot47
    I own a kindle and they now have an offer where they lend you books for a monthly fee... so I guess that's what's up...
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      No market goes up forever. Just ask speculators in Internet startups around the year 2001 or real estate speculators around 2007. There was never any possibility that ebook growth rates could continue on the trajectory they were on.

      But just because the rate of growth may have slowed does not mean the market is not growing at all. Nor does it mean that even if it flatlines it isn't a huge market.
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      • Profile picture of the author research
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        No market goes up forever. Just ask speculators in Internet startups around the year 2001 or real estate speculators around 2007. There was never any possibility that ebook growth rates could continue on the trajectory they were on.

        But just because the rate of growth may have slowed does not mean the market is not growing at all. Nor does it mean that even if it flatlines it isn't a huge market.
        I am in agreement with you.

        My real concern is the fact that many involved in the Kindle Publishing world do not see the changes taking place.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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          Originally Posted by research View Post

          My real concern is the fact that many involved in the Kindle Publishing world do not see the changes taking place.
          I agree with you that they don't (one has only to look at objective, factual information, and compare it with what's being said in writers' forums, to appreciate that!). But that's perhaps not such a great surprise? There's quite a longstanding tradition of some self-published authors not quite sharing the same perceptions and realities as others involved in the publishing and bookselling industries, after all?

          As John rightly mentions, above, even if the Kindle market stops growing altogether (which I don't think it quite has done, yet?) or has a slight downturn, it's still a huge market?

          In general, I'm greatly encouraged to see trade publishing doing so well again after a slight "lull", and in the long run, I think that's only ever good for self-publishing, too.

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  • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
    Elephants stop growing eventually as well, but they're still enormous when they do. I don't think the Kindle market offers any less potential now for people willing to stick at it and put in the work to cater to it than it's ever done. People with stories to tell (or in the case of non-fiction, information and methods to relate). People who know how to tell their stories, know how to package them and know how to use a bunch of related stories to promote each other. Each story is like a brick - on it's own it's not going to be worth much to the writer, but propping others up it becomes more valuable, whether you're building a bus shelter or building a mansion. If you know how to put your bricks together, you've got an asset.

    The Kindle market has undoubtedly lost it's gloss in some quarters though - for people who thought that one 'brick' would be enough, people who thought that a few bricks placed miles apart would build something of lasting value, people who ran out of bricks or thought that any old brick will do. People who wrote one book and sat back expecting riches to roll in, who assumed that the same readers of their romantic fiction short would rush to read their space fiction, or whose brains refused to squeeze out one more sexy, unattached billionaire but couldn't come up with anything else, and people who thought that slapping a cover on PLR or public domain works would see them rubbing shoulders with Stephen King.

    There were lots of these people throwing themselves into the fray when the potential of the Kindle Market first showed up on the IM radar, and Amazon didn't seem to see the worst of them coming so it probably was easier in the beginning for some to turn in a few quid by doing very little. Then Amazon moved to protect their reputation by clamping down on PLR and getting picky over 'fake' reviews and suddenly there were scads of 'authors' adding volume to the claim that the bubble had burst.

    And in IM circles, maybe it had. The emphasis in Internet Marketing is on getting eyeballs on products and persuading people to buy them - there's never been a requirement to create the products, and for many it was turning out to be more effort than they were willing to put in.

    Meanwhile, those who saw publishing as a fantastic business opportunity and were slowly beginning to prosper by quietly building genuine assets were facing problems too - Amazon changing their exposure algorithms, chucking Kindle Unlimited into the mix etc, but as business people they've been able to adapt by changing prices, repackaging their titles and drawing on their own data to determine whether participation in KU is worth it for their particular business model and so they stand a good chance of riding out any downturn in sales.

    I admit that I haven't seen any stats indicating a dramatic downturn in the growth of e-book sales, but what I have noticed (couldn't fail to see, really!) is Amazon's determination to be the 'go to' place for readers keen to pay for e-books. They can't put their readers first if there are no authors willing to write for pennies and they'll be adapting too. KU is probably a profitable machine for Amazon right now and it's still profiting many writers, but the minute it becomes unprofitable enough for the majority of authors to jump ship it will either take on a different form or be abandoned in favour of something else. The number of readers won't change and Amazon wants them badly. As long as no one is trying to game the system and is producing books that people want to read, they badly need their independent authors too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Philip1008
    Though ebook is much more cheaper than paper book. But some people still pursue the texture of paper, just like me. While, I don't think the trend will be reversed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    For all the people who are true marketers (folks who can sell virtually anything at any time....), their digital product sales are still good. If a Kindle author wants more sales for their Kindle book... tell them to start an email list, and promote the Kindle link where their ebook is being sold on. Or, you can make it easier in life for yourself (PLUS you get the customer name and info).... sell your ebook on your own site, and start a list, and drive folks to your website link where your ebook is being promoted at. Stats like a "Kindle downturn" doesn't mean much to me. Relative really.
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  • Profile picture of the author dbrwn
    I don't publish on Kindle myself, but as an avid ebook lover and a technology enthusiast, I don't see any downturn in digital publishing. Digital publishing is here to stay. It isn't going anywhere. A matter of fact, it will only grow as years go by.

    Paper products such as paper books will eventually go out of print much like vinal records did not too long ago. Sure you can still find vinal records and some artists are producing them, but for the masses, electronic means of entertainment still persist and always will, and the same can be said for books as well.

    Sure there will be paper versions of books, but eventually the bookstores in the malls will end up closing shop. It is just a matter of time before that happens. Look at the music stores that used to be inside our malls. They went by the wayside because of digital music and other forms of digital media.

    Just as there are no DVD rental places, soon places like Sun Coast which is a place that sells DVD movies will also go by the wayside due to the high demand of streaming media and the fact that now movies can be downloaded.

    Just give it time and you will see paper books not selling too well in the not too distant future.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
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  • Profile picture of the author EternBks
    I think the market is being saturated, Jump on KDP Select for ebooks and chances are, there are thousands and thousands of ebooks on there doing everything "The right way". Its tough to compete, get reviews, fill out forms to have this done, that done and a lot of time involved just to make $2.00 a sale. People finding out what niches work and are out ranking your book.

    I do have another way of making money other than kindle and I make much more ($20-$300+ profit per sale) but I can't do the volume that I want and it's not consistent enough as I'd like which is why I still feel like I have to work for a living, Money comes in spurts for me from my other business.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I know a lot of authors were complaining that their book sales had
    taken a dive after Amazon introduced its Kindle Unlimited program
    for $9.99 per month.
    I totally agree. For example, a book getting twenty downloads per day, barely gets two now. Remember that most people who buy a 99 cent e-book never get around to actually reading it, but those days are over. People can download it read one page or none.... you get paid zero. All the profits go to amazon.
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  • Profile picture of the author regulardan
    Nothing will last forever. Things dry up. You must always be up on what's to come and jump on it like prey in the wild. Do so before the rest of the pack comes flocking!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      "Reading books" does not dry up - never has. What you have on Kindle is a decline in the avalanche of outsourced or quickly written ebooks - at least that's what I see.

      When I first bought my Kindle I tried some of the free and the 99 cent ebooks - very few were worth reading more than a few pages. I went back to recognized authors and I easily spend $100 or more monthly on Kindle downloads. If there were no Amazon Kindle, I'd be spending that money on print books as I always have.

      I don't think the ebook market will dry up. I think readers try cheap ebooks and sample unknown authors but if quality isn't there, they stop buying "unknowns" and return to authors they trust.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
    My wife only reads via her Kindle reader, and all I read are physical books.

    As far as someone mentioning he prefers physical but opts for kindle because he doesnt have to wait 2 days for his kindle version, order the books you want to read in advance so you never run out and never wait

    I basically keep a queue of books.

    Actually running low so if any avid business/personal growth book readers have any suggestions, please do share with me here (or via pm to maintain the integrity of this thread )
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