Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

E-Book Sales Booming, Now 9 Percent of Total Sales (And Still Small)

Data point of the day, from the Association of American Publishers: E-book sales are up 193 percent so far this year, and now comprise nine percent of all books sold.

J.P. Morgan’s Imran Khan puts that in context via this helpful chart. Remember that e-book sales didn’t really exist until the late fall of 2007, when Amazon introduced the first (really mugly) Kindle. And recall that Apple only entered the market in April of this year. So you can see where this is going (click to enlarge):

The caveat: The book market just isn’t that big. U.S. e-book sales to date are just $263 million, which means people have spent more money going to see “Clash of the Titans” and “The Expendables” this year than they have on digital ink.

Oooh! Great opportunity to show a clip from the best Elmore Leonard movie adaptation, hands down:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work