From the least to the most popular books on Amazon, are people reading the digital copies?
For a long time, readers, authors and publishers alike were asking “are ebooks worth it?”. That time is well behind us as digital books have taken off in the last handful of years.
The advantages of ebooks simply cannot be ignored, and they are a staple for any book release.
A recent Pew Research Center survey on book formats and consumption showed that while traditional print (comprised primarily by paperback and hardcovers) remains the most popular for both adults and children, digital formats have gained tremendous ground. In essence, yes, ebooks are worth it on both the sales’ and the reader’s side.
The Pew Research Center data showed that 3 in 10 Americans had read a digital book within the 12 months prior to the survey. As about 75 percent of adults in the United States said that they had read at least one book in any format within the prior 12 months, the fact that 30 percent of them had read at least one ebook represents quite a substantial total. Comparatively, 65 percent of American adults said that they’d read a print book.
Are ebooks worth it? Americans think so! Since 2019, the percentage who read them spiked!
In 2019, 25 percent of American adults said that they’d read digital books in the past year. In 2021, that figure jumped to 30 percent. Moreover, 9 percent said that they were now exclusively reading digital formats. Thirty-three percent said they were reading both print and digital books.
The publishing industry hasn’t failed to notice. Amazon ebooks have exploded in sales and comprise a substantial portion of overall book sales on the massively popular online marketplace.
Are ebooks worth it? Ebook advantages simply can’t be ignored.
To authors, there is no mystery as to why this is the case and many – including Amanda Giasson and Julie B. Campbell, co-authors of the Perspective book series – insist on providing their readers with the choice of formats.
“Ebooks are definitely worth it,” said Giasson, who writes the point of view of Megan Wynters in the dual-perspective fantasy fiction series. “I still love a good paperback, but ebooks are often cheaper (ours are), you don’t have to go get them or wait for delivery, they’re never out of stock, and they have lots of digital features like embedded links, digital bookmarks, highlighted quotes and looking up words in the dictionary as you read.”
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— Perspective Books (@QarraduneBooks) January 7, 2022
Furthermore, Amazon ebooks are definitely not just for early adopters. For the reasons Giasson mentioned, the ease, convenience, affordability and lack of physical storage requirements mean that ebooks are worth it to readers of all ages and reading levels.
“I was expecting maybe 20 percent of our book sales to be digital,” said Campbell, who writes the point of view of Irys Godeleva in the series that begins with the novel Love at First Plight. “That’s not the case, though. Our first novel was published in 2015, and the initial few days were mostly paperbacks, because a lot of them were friends and family who wanted signed copies on their shelves,” she chuckled. “But after that initial wave, it’s been split nearly down the middle. From month to month, sales are always almost identical between ebooks and paperbacks. We just released a hardcover of Love at First Plight, so we don’t know if that will shift the numbers yet, but I have a feeling it’ll stay pretty balanced. It has for 7 years!”