Will the rise of the download affect your Amazon sales?

By Sharon Fussell, September 7, 2012

As my son is currently doing his A levels, we (reluctantly) suggested he may like to have a Kindle to (perhaps) make it easier to obtain relevant reading material for his courses.

He was very adamant that he did not require a Kindle and what’s more did not want one!

What impact will the downloadable books phenomenon have on Amazon Sellers?

Amazon claim that this year sales of Kindle downloads exceeded sales of new fiction books, and whilst I do not want to be alarmed at this trend, it could impact adversely on used book sales since householders cannot donate downloads to charity shops!

However on the plus side, it may serve to make used books rarer and thus increase the sales prices.

So, yes the quantity of donated books may change, but perhaps some of the low pricing that permeates Amazon will go as cut-price sellers drift off, leaving the way open for you to sell books at a premium.

Personally, I would rather sell two books that render £10 profit than ten books that amount to £10 profit – less work all round, less postage costs etc.!

I found this article on the Internet and thought it reflected my thoughts on the printed word verses electronic words quite well. I’ve included some excerpts below but do be sure to read the entire thing it gives a rather interesting insight into the mind of the book collector.

It’s a Book — Not an App

“[…] Despite increased competition, books can still be found everywhere [however] the main purposes books have served for more than two thousand years — the storage and provision of information — can be achieved today in many other, and often much less expensive, ways.
It was less than a century ago that written and printed materials, such as books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, letters, notes, signs, and labels, were the primary sources of information for literate people. […] For the storage and retrieval of information […] the written and printed word, in its variety of physical manifestations, provided needed information, as well as enjoyable and educational reading experiences.

In modern societies in which the technology is easily available, children grow up much more comfortable with the rapidly changing variety of methods of communications and sources of information than did their parents, and adults of all ages are also taking advantage, by choice and by necessity, of the resources and benefits that today’s technologies can connect us to.

Information of all kinds, including information about rare books, is more widely available than it ever was before, and it’s easier to find and buy books today, both new and old, than it ever has been. You can now read whatever you want, look up (seemingly) anything about any subject, find your way around, compare prices, shop from anywhere, and get next-day delivery of whatever you want to buy.

So, what’s the problem?

To put it simply, for many of us involved with the recreational or professional pursuit and use of rare books, we’re not spending as much time with books as we once did. […]

The more books you look at, the more you’ll see in them, especially if you keep your mind open to new possibilities and new aspects of potential interest. […] A book is […] something you can pick up and hold in your hand, not something you can download to your phone.”
Joel Silver


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