“Screen Fatigue” Sees UK eBook Sales Plunge 17% as Readers Return to Print

by Mark Sweney at the Guardian

Consumer sales down to £204m last year and are at lowest level since 2011 – when Amazon Kindle sales first took off in UK

Britons are abandoning the ebook at an alarming rate with sales of consumer titles down almost a fifth last year, as “screen fatigue” helped fuel a five-year high in printed book sales.

Sales of consumer ebooks plunged 17% to £204m last year, the lowest level since 2011 – the year the ebook craze took off as Jeff Bezos’ market-dominating Amazon Kindle took the UK by storm.

It is the second year running that sales of consumer ebooks – the biggest segment of the £538m ebook market, which fell 3% last year – have slumped as commuters, holidaymakers and leisure readers shelve digital editions in favour of good old fashioned print novels.


Read the rest of the article at the Guardian here.






10 thoughts on ““Screen Fatigue” Sees UK eBook Sales Plunge 17% as Readers Return to Print

  1. What’s that old saying about lies and statistics?

    The data used in this report only looks at sales by the large traditional publishers. For reasons best known to themselves, these publishers often charge more for their ebooks than for the mass market/trade paperback versions. Ebook readers aren’t fools, so if a new novel by their favourite author is as cheap as, or cheaper, in print than in digital format, why would they buy the digital version?

    Thus, traditional publishers manufactured a loss on ebook sales and only recouped about 1/2 of their losses from increased print. That works out to be a loss overall. And, of course, the elephant in the room is the huge chunk of ebook sales generated by Indies and small publishers. Those numbers are not included in any of the official statistics.

    As consumers, we have the right to read in whichever format suits us the best. Makes you wonder why any company would need to spin the data like this?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Much of this is because the ‘big publishers’ have caught on to the popularity of ebooks and, in their usual greedy way, have hiked up the prices. Checking my ‘competition’ (I’m self-published) I see that ALL their ebooks are now over £5. You double the price, you halve the sales. OK, maybe some people are fed up of using a screen ~I prefer books, but then I’m 67, BUT more people read on their phones/tablets than ever before, especially the younger generation… according to my students. These publishers are the same ones who wanted to scrap the net book agreement, coz they thought it’d make them more money. That didn’t go go well either. Ebook sales are generated off the back of ebook sales/reviews, which move the writer up the Amazon chart in their particular genre. If the two aren’t happening, then there will be a significant drop.

    Liked by 2 people

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