From Publisher's Lunch:
Reporting that ebook sales in the US rose 5.5 times during 2008, the company [Lagardere] declared revenues–yes, actual revenues–of $4.7 million. Based on our rough estimate of Hachette Book Group's total US sales for the year, that means that even with the exponential growth, ebooks comprised less than 0.75 percent of sales.
We appreciate having an actual fact to reaffirm our continuing contention that mainstream media and Wall Street analysts alike have vastly overcovered and over-responded to the near-term impact of the Kindle and other consumer ereading devices and platforms. The growth rates are quite high and clearly the expansion of players and consumer options will fuel this market further, but it is currently tiny.
And yet I still want a Kindle. 🙂 But, yes, I'm not an ebook connoisseur at all. I don't like reading on my computer. I have to read my drafts that way, and friends' drafts that way, so I don't want to read a book for leisure. The Kindle, OTOH, I thought might help me branch into ebooks a bit. Hmm, still very interesting that this technology isn't spreading the way people once declared it would. As I saw on a Tweet from Stephen Fry recently, (paraphrasing) Kindles and ebooks won't replace real books any more than elevators replaced stairs. It's simply another tool to use, that's all.
What are your thoughts?