E-Books vs Real Books

Amazon announced that its June 2010 Kindle e-book sales nearly doubled its hardcover book sales (180% higher). While many of those e-books were self-published books for as low as $1 (and even though traditional paperbacks are still selling wildly), it looks more and more like e-books may become the dominant book format in not too long.

So are paper- and print-free e-books better for authors or publishers than their print counterparts? And are regular books on the out? This infographic explains what’s really going on:

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12 Comments

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  • Aarffy

    Aren’t paperbacks ‘real’? How can you just compare ebooks to hardcovers?

  • CDA002

    IMPOSIBLE… DEBERIA ESTAR MUCHO MAS BARATO… PERO QUE SE ESPERA DE UNA FUENTE COMO AMAZON… YO NO PAGO MAS DE 5 DOLARES POR UN LIBRO ELECTRONICO ESTANDART…

  • guest

    Conclusion: It would be a nice idea to buy real books, because their print & shipping cost are very small. It would be better to buy a real book with a e-book in the same product. It should cost the same price than the book only and It would be useful if You are reading the book and one day You can’t travel with your book.

  • Guest321

    with e-book, you can skip publisher’s profit, wich is 32% more expensive than “real” books (that means they don’t want to sell this kind of books); plus, you can exchange profits between author and retailer, or at least make it 50/50, resulting in a $6,17 average sales price and a fair distribution of earnings

  • http://getBRANDWISE.com daleberkebile

    Is this article supposed to have a graphic with it to inform us more about what’s really going on? I love a good hardback book. I also read plenty of softcover books, but would prefer the book as a hardcover format. Typically the ebooks I read are quick fixes to a problem I have. This has been, at least for me, more of a resource to learn about a topic and find vendors or business partners or research what competitors are doing.

    I’d love to hear what others think about this.

  • Anonymous

    The graphic seems to be missing. I get broken image links.

  • Gordon Cole

    Would you please check image links? I would love to read this.

  • FLORIST_LEE

    which model they used to calculate the e-book gain? wholesale model or agency model?

  • http://profiles.google.com/kevins.studio Kevin McLaughlin

    I wonder where they got their data?

    According to the AAP, publisher ebook percentage is actually in the high teens  - around 17% or so. It hasn’t been 3-5% for over a year now, so perhaps they are using very old data. Ditto for hardcovers, which have been down in sales quite a lot this year.

    Even the basics like retailer profit are wrong (a Kindle or Apple book makes the retailer 30% of the cover, or $4.20 on a $13.99 ebook). On the same ebook, the author would make about $2.45 (25% of 70%), but that fails to take into account that agents are required by most major publishers, which takes about 38 cents away from the writer’s profit, bringing writer profit down to only $2.07 per $13.99 ebook.

    Incidentally, that’s almost precisely the same profit per sale an author makes self publishing the book at a $2.99 retail price. With the lower price of course generating dramatically more sales, it’s no wonder so many pro writers are moving into self publishing. That’s a much simpler chart.  ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/kevins.studio Kevin McLaughlin

    I wonder where they got their data?

    According to the AAP, publisher ebook percentage is actually in the high teens  - around 17% or so. It hasn’t been 3-5% for over a year now, so perhaps they are using very old data. Ditto for hardcovers, which have been down in sales quite a lot this year.

    Even the basics like retailer profit are wrong (a Kindle or Apple book makes the retailer 30% of the cover, or $4.20 on a $13.99 ebook). On the same ebook, the author would make about $2.45 (25% of 70%), but that fails to take into account that agents are required by most major publishers, which takes about 38 cents away from the writer’s profit, bringing writer profit down to only $2.07 per $13.99 ebook.

    Incidentally, that’s almost precisely the same profit per sale an author makes self publishing the book at a $2.99 retail price. With the lower price of course generating dramatically more sales, it’s no wonder so many pro writers are moving into self publishing. That’s a much simpler chart.  ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/kevins.studio Kevin McLaughlin

    I wonder where they got their data?

    According to the AAP, publisher ebook percentage is actually in the high teens  - around 17% or so. It hasn’t been 3-5% for over a year now, so perhaps they are using very old data. Ditto for hardcovers, which have been down in sales quite a lot this year.

    Even the basics like retailer profit are wrong (a Kindle or Apple book makes the retailer 30% of the cover, or $4.20 on a $13.99 ebook). On the same ebook, the author would make about $2.45 (25% of 70%), but that fails to take into account that agents are required by most major publishers, which takes about 38 cents away from the writer’s profit, bringing writer profit down to only $2.07 per $13.99 ebook.

    Incidentally, that’s almost precisely the same profit per sale an author makes self publishing the book at a $2.99 retail price. With the lower price of course generating dramatically more sales, it’s no wonder so many pro writers are moving into self publishing. That’s a much simpler chart.  ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/kevins.studio Kevin McLaughlin

    I wonder where they got their data?

    According to the AAP, publisher ebook percentage is actually in the high teens  - around 17% or so. It hasn’t been 3-5% for over a year now, so perhaps they are using very old data. Ditto for hardcovers, which have been down in sales quite a lot this year.

    Even the basics like retailer profit are wrong (a Kindle or Apple book makes the retailer 30% of the cover, or $4.20 on a $13.99 ebook). On the same ebook, the author would make about $2.45 (25% of 70%), but that fails to take into account that agents are required by most major publishers, which takes about 38 cents away from the writer’s profit, bringing writer profit down to only $2.07 per $13.99 ebook.

    Incidentally, that’s almost precisely the same profit per sale an author makes self publishing the book at a $2.99 retail price. With the lower price of course generating dramatically more sales, it’s no wonder so many pro writers are moving into self publishing. That’s a much simpler chart.  ;)

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