This blog runs about 2 posts a month on Publishing, and here are trends I've noticed from my research:
- Amazon sells more eBooks than Hardcover books: This was one of the earliest trends this year, based on Amazon's Q1 results. This trend accelerated in the later part of the year, selling 3 times as many books in the first half of the year, compared to 2009. Bringing me to..
- Ebooks sales doubled from 5% of the overall books sold to closer to 10% of the books sold (Association of American Publishers). Ereader owners also read on average 3 more books each month than before.
- E-readers Proliferated: New e-readers entering India and Multiplying like Rabbits. Some estimated Christmas Day Kindle sales to be around a million units (Jeff Bezos said that this day sales was the largest ever in Kindle history). Kindle now is the #1 best-selling product on Amazon, surpassing Harry Potter #7.
- Reading on Mobiles and other Devices: Reports from Apple iStore show that iBooks is one of their top downloads. B&N Nook has a desktop reading device, and of course several other great independent Mobile/notebook readers like Stanza are widely used.On Christmas, Apple's iBooks e-reader is the #1 most-downloaded free iPad app, while Amazon's Kindle app is #9.
- Censorship: Several times this year, Amazon was in trouble for deleting books from Kindles, and for (perhaps accidentally) dropping GLBT books from their listings.
- Closing of indie bookstores: While my favorite bookstore in Bangalore still exists, news reports suggest a struggle to survive elsewhere. While Independent stores are probably the hardest hit, we should remember that Borders and other mainstream stores shut several outlets this year. Google eBooks launched with options for local retailers to sell, hopefully this helps keep folks in business.
- Rise of YA: Inevitable, sustained for over two years and massive - this trend has resulted in more teens reading, and also a rise in adults reading Young Adult books.
- An Aptara Survey of 600 publishers does a great dive into the impact of ebooks on Publishing: The main eBook production challenge facing publishers is eReader/content format compatibility issues, the same as in our first survey. Even with a nearly universal eBook format standard (EPUB), today's highly fragmented eReader market makes quality eBook production a moving target.