Decline in eBook Sales
I’ve been reading quite a bit on the Amazon KDP Community that May is a terrible sales month for eBooks. Many have blamed the glut of free eBooks offered by independent authors in the KDP Select Program. While this contributes to the decline in sales, I also believe that, as others say, it is the economy.
Some people will inevitably take anything free. I have to say that I have downloaded some free eBooks by indie authors. This is only after I have read the excerpt from the “Look Inside” feature. Most of these eBooks have been very good. I have to say that I do not understand why these good authors are giving away their free eBooks. Is it a lack of confidence in their work or is because they feel that this is the only way they can get the public to read their books?
A few of the eBooks I have read, after reading the excerpt, have disappointed me. Sometimes the first few chapters are very good and will grab my attention, but once I get into the book, the book fails to follow through on its promise. From my experiences, I would say that some readers are refusing to go through some bad books to find the books that are worthwhile to read.
Some readers will eventually go back to reading the well-known authors and give up on the indies unless they have found one they like. Then they will return and read other books written by that author. However, some indies have only written one or two books. By the time another book is released the readers will have gone on to other authors or to other books recommended by their friends. I have to say that I have reverted to buying older books by well-known authors and will read other books by those authors because I know they have other books out there.
As I said in the beginning, part of the decline in the sales of eBooks is because of the stagnant economy. I went to dinner tonight at my favorite restaurant in town. Since I live in a small town of ten thousand, I do not have many restaurants from which to choose. However, the manager and the waiters know us at the local Ruby Tuesdays. The service is excellent. However, our favorite waiter moved to the capital city because of cutback in hours. It seems like the people are eating out less now than they were a couple of years ago. People are getting more for less. They are paying less when eating out, which also translates to paying less when reading. For some, free books are better than $0.99 books, $1.99, etc.
If the economy does not recover, or authors finally realize that giving away their eBooks is ridiculous, then the decline of eBook sales will continue. Unless all authors stand up and say I am not giving away the toils of my labor, then sales will continue to decline.