Friday, December 11, 2009

Good News, Bad News for Digital Publishing

First, the good news. The digital publishing market is steadily growing.

For those of you who missed it, this past Sunday The New York Times published a brief Q&A with Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. Naturally, the discussion turned to the Kindle. When asked what percentage of books that Amazon sells are digital, Jeff responded that for every 100 copies of a physical book sold by Amazon, 48 copies are sold in digital format. Jeff also noted that when they launched the Kindle two years ago, 90,000 titles were available for download. Currently, Amazon has 350,000 titles and is adding thousands more every week. According to Jeff, his goal is to eventually have available in digital format every book ever printed in all languages.

Now the bad news. At present, Amazon adds digital books to its holdings based on the popularity and sales of that book in printed format.

Okay, so that's not really bad news. It just means new authors are going to have to hustle to increase their sales and their popularity. Big deal. We planned on doing that anyway. So I guess this is mostly good news.

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