Print Books Outsell eBooks In First Half of 2014

There is good news for all those who love ‘the book’ with all its comforting familiarity and solidity over the more ephemeral ‘eBook’, often referred to by those with a technological bent as, horror of horrors, ‘content’.

According to the Nielsen Book & Consumer survey released this month, print books outsold eBooks in the first half of 2014. Actually, BOTH hardcovers AND paperbacks outsold eBooks individually as well as when combined.

Overall print book sales accounted for 67% of the market, leaving eBooks with a 23% share. Hardcovers on their own accounted for 25% of sales while paperbacks dominated all other formats at 42% of sales.

These figures further reinforce predications that eBook sales will stabilise and that there will always be room in the hearts and libraries of readers for both paper and electronic books.

The launch of the Kindle by Amazon in 2007 saw triple digit growth in eBook sales for several years. However, in 2013, that growth slowed to single digits and the new 2014 figures suggest that trend will continue.

In an interview with HuffPost Live recently, bestselling author Stephen King said, ‘I think books are going to be there for a long, long time to come.’

King doesn’t believe books will suffer the same dismal fate as vinyl records and CDs.

‘Audio recordings of music have only been around for, I’m going to say, 120 years at the most. Books have been around for three, four centuries … There’s a deeply implanted desire and understanding and wanting of books that isn’t there with music,’ he said during his HuffPost interview.

That’s all good news for those of us who like the availability and pricing associated with our eReaders but also love to surround ourselves with overflowing bookshelves and hard copies of those books that are really dear to us.

So, which format do you prefer? Paperback, hardback or eBook? Or, like me, do you enjoy all three in equal measure?


Further reading:

Publisher’s Weekly:

HuffPost Live:

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1 Comment

  1. I like all three. My debut book is coming out next month as an e-book but I’ve lost count of the people who have asked if they can get it in paperback. I hate to disappoint them but my publisher is digital only. I can see in the future most publishers will be both.


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