Romance eBook authors and publishers received a boost of confidence today from a post by Book World editor Steven Levingston, blogging at The Washington Post.
In “E-Books Sales: Tiny Today, Towering Tomorrow?” Levingston breaks down the numbers and trends on current eBook sales. Hint: eBook sales are shooting through the roof, while print sales are lagging. Levingston is quick to point out that sales figures are growing from a modest base. Still, there’s reason to cheer:
Latest figures from the Association of American Publishers showed e-book sales up 167 percent through May of this year. Printed book sales were down 4 percent.
Not quite that surprising, the majority of eBook buyers are men:
In 2008, men accounted for 55 percent of e-book purchases, with the figure growing to 57 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 accounted for 52 percent of e-book purchases last year.
However, the article describes a “burgeoning audience for romance e-books,” pointing to the huge crowd that showed for Nora Roberts recent signing at the Post, plus this blog’s own growing following and its eBook romance bestseller lists. What really gives me hope for the eBook romance market are positive comments such as those found in the article’s final line:
Who knows, after seeing the hordes and the enthusiasm for Nora Roberts, I may just have witnessed the key to the future of e-books.
Considering the enormous marketing savvy of the authors in our genre, I’d agree, we have a strong potential of making a dent in current eBook sales demographics, attracting more and more print book readers to digital. Of course, we can always convert all those ready-to-buy male eBook consumers to romance!