First there was this:
Adult mass paperback sales plunged 54 percent in September while eBook sales rose 100 percent: http://mbist.ro/srAdhgI've been anticipating numbers like that, but it's still surprising to see them in print.
And then there was this spooky bit:
By 2016, e-book revenues from portable devices will reach nearly $10 billion and bookstores that don’t merge digital and traditional commerce may face extinction
Now I'm imagining the pages of old books blowing through empty strip mall parking lots.
And finally, there was this piece of holiday joy: How many Christmases until we see a whole new industry?
Which is neatly summarized by these two quotes:
John Makinson, the global CEO of Penguin, was quoted in a Reuters article saying that the post-Christmas period in publishing coming up is “tougher to predict” than “any time that I can remember”. Asked what he sees in the immediate future, Makinson replied “dark clouds.”
The pace of the digital switchover is quickening. That will reduce the cash available to invest in building a new ecosystem at the same time the urgency of coming up with new answers is rising. It’s enough to make a sober executive, even at a very large, successful, smart, and innovative company, admit to serious concern for the industry’s future
But in good Hollywood fashion, we'll end with a ray of hope striking out from deep within the gloom:
IndieBound Reader is an ebook reading application [... that] allows book lovers to read ebooks purchased at their local, independent bookstores.
Thank goodness, right? I've been wondering how much longer it would be before the independents began to get their act together.
Oh, and an interesting closing note: The Bookcase in Wayzata (a real nice bookstore, BTW) is where Claudia and I went to see Leanna Renee Hieber, Friend of The Scribblerati.
Aren't you glad I shared?