Friday, August 2, 2013

Booksellers continue to face challenges, while book sales are on the rise

The following is an excerpt from an interesting article by Peter Osnos in The Atlantic:

"With all the upheaval in bookselling over the past decade -- the surge in online ordering, the multiple challenges faced by brick and mortar booksellers, and the squabbles over e-book pricing -- you would think the book industry was in crisis. But sales figures suggest otherwise. Increasingly, this churning appears to be an integral feature of a steady process of transformation in the digital age. 
The Association of American Publishers released 2012 sales figures, showing a substantial increase in overall totals. Sorting out the numbers (there is additional data on the AAP website), the net gain was 7.4 percent over the previous year, which amounts to an additional $451 million in revenue, reaching $6.533 billion. The extraordinary popularity of the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy, published by Random House's Vintage division, and the Hunger Games series from Scholastic were major contributors to the boost. While there is a popular notion that book sales are being fundamentally undermined by competition from other forms of information and entertainment pouring forth from digital devices, these figures show this is simply not the case."

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