Comments: ‘E-books Go Out of Fashion As Book Sales Revive’

A few good friends have sent me an article from Time concerning the demise of e-books. Since I am spending a fair chunk of my time preparing small books for distribution as e-books, I understand that my friends are offering me good advice. And the Prophet ﷺ did say that religion is offering sincere advice. So while I do appreciate and value their offering of advice, I think that it is worth commenting on the article.

I do not find the article’s conclusions to be the least bit compelling as it compares book sales to dedicated e-reader sales without looking at e-book sales. I expect e-reader sales to drop off over time as people who want them have purchased them. I also expect sales to drop off as reader applications become available outside of dedicated e-readers. You only need to obtain the e-reader or e-reader app once to be able to read e-books. There really isn’t anything solid in this article to support the conclusion stated in the title.

At the risk of bring yet another terrible car analogy into the world: You expect car sales to drop off once people own a car. A horse-buggy manufacturer would be silly to then conclude that cars are therefore out of fashion. And it would be especially silly to insist that this is the case while gas stations are being built to meed the demand for petrol.

The article doesn’t provide sufficient evidence to arrive at the conclusions it claims. There’s nothing in this article that would make me rethink including electronic books in my publishing plans.