I just read Dan Cohen’s thoughts on the future of e-books. Dan thinks the current “plateau” in e-book sales is either a temporary pause or an artifact of bad sales data, and speculates that digital books will be the (heavily) dominant medium of literary consumption sooner rather than later. I’m strongly inclined to agree, and Dan’s piece is (as always) well worth a read if you’re interested in smart speculation about media, publishing, libraries, and readership.
I’m writing this up for the blog, rather than (just) tweeting it, because Dan’s piece led me to an informative and intriguing report by Author Earnings. I haven’t examined their methods in detail, but they claim, among other things, that 30% of purchased e-books in the US don’t have ISBN numbers, meaning they aren’t included in Bowker’s publishing reports (about which I’ve previously written, trying to figure out how many new novels are published in the US every year). Anyway, the AE report is worth a look if you’re at least abstractly interested in the economics of the changing publishing industry.