Looks like 2011 is the year that eBooks hit the mainstream.
I had a previously published hunch that 2010 was going to be the year of the eBook. I was right in so much as a range of things happened that allowed eBooks to flourish. Both technology and business was at a point of convergence that precipitated the establishment of a viable eBook business. By years end Amazon were selling more eBooks than print.
2011 now looks like the year that eBooks go mainstream, they’ve been established and now we will see the astronomic rise in sales. Luke Wroblewski (from the breaking development conference and bagcheck fame) has a great summary of data on eBooks and eReaders. There is one particular stat in there that I want to make mention of:
Less than four years after introducing Kindle books, Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books [hardcover and paperback] combined. (source)
That’s an amazing statistic – going from the biggest online bookseller to the biggest eBook seller in 4 years. From selling no eBooks to being the biggest seller of eBooks in 4 years is an amazing feet. It speaks of incredible vision and agility from Amazon’s part, what other business could adapt in that way in such a short time?
I want to write more about eBooks, it’s something that interests me a great deal, but for now I am happy to watch as something new rolls in. eBooks challenge our preconceptions of books, of text and of reading and that to me is a beautiful thing to observe. It’s like sitting on the beach watching the waves crash into each other.