Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Libraries May Be Contributing to Decline in eBook Sales

Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Libraries May Be Contributing to Decline in eBook Sales

Article excerpt

The ebook industry was expected to topple the printing industry in much the same way the Internet has revolutionized print news - quickly and with little mercy. And for a while it seemed like that would be the case, but a slew of new data from 2015 indicates that is far from reality as the ebook industry is trending downward and print sales are enjoying a resurgence.

According to Forbes, the global ebook industry generated $8.4 billion in revenue in 2013, compared to $53.9 billion in global print revenue. In 2014, ebook sales plateaued and in 2015 declined across the board.

Among the reasons attributed to the decline in ebook sales are a reduction in the number of first-time ereader purchasers - many people already have one - and an increase in the price of ebooks. The five major publishers - Penguin/Random House, Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins and Hachette - have implemented a new pricing mechanism, increasing the cost of many ebooks from $9.99 to $14.99.

Barbara Ormerod-Glynn, director at the Greenwich Library, said one reason sales could be on the decline is that checking out ebooks from the library has become so much easier in recent years. Greenwich Library uses the Overdrive digital library, implemented by public libraries across the country, to allow users to download library books directly to their ereaders. The library even hosted a workshop Wednesday to help people who received ereaders as holiday gifts learn how to use them and check out books through the Overdrive system. …

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