walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

a very minor update on the AAP numbers and discussion thereof

Honestly, I've been trying to find the tempest that I feel the AAP numbers deserve. I'm finding a few people trying to get it going (very, very few) and here's what I'm seeing in response:


Thread here about the numbers, most being carefully excited, one person saying, hey those numbers are bogus. The argument for bogosity is that not all publishers report, even fewer are reporting ebooks, Borders is in bankruptcy, etc. With the exception of the last, all of these would imply that the ebooks numbers are, if anything, low, but the argument concludes, bizarrely, the opposite of that.

On page two, someone references Dean Wesley Smith's blog. In that comments thread, someone ("Mark") mentions the AAP numbers:

"Ebooks in February were about 30% of all sales, minus textbooks."

To which Smith responds:

"Not true across the industry…yet. At the moment the number is 10% of all fiction sold is ebooks."

No sourcing, and apparently he went back and did a little checking and then produced this:

"14 is a very small number of companies that want to report. Not sure, but if Sourcebooks is one (because they do know the numbers) they would be tilting heavily the scale toward e-books. And if Harlequin reported, or any of their imprints reported, they also know how to track and are ahead of the game and thus would lean heavy toward eBooks. "

Essentially, Smith is arguing that if the 14 reporting included Sourcebooks and/or HQN, then they would be so _overwhelmingly_ digital, their fraction would swamp _all other print publishing by comparison_. Believe that? You're _fucking innumerate_.

Earlier, Smith references his wife Rusch's blog. While it is almost always painful to dig through Rusch's writing to find The Point, I did anyway.


"Right now, some—and I must emphasize some, not all—traditional publishing houses are significantly underreporting e-book sales. In some cases these sales are off by a factor of 10 or more."

Again, how can _underreporting_ of e-book sales by some publishers result in an _overestimate_ of ebooks at the AAP level? Please? Explain? I'm sensing parity error in processing inequalities.

You can assert "10% of the market" until the cows wake you up where you're sleeping under the bridge in the 1930s with my great-aunt Abby. In 2011, it's just not true.

Meanwhile, the person on absolutewrite saying ain't gonna happen to the idea of ebooks becoming dominant in fiction, "shaldna" of "Belfast" is a Book Huffer:

"And part of that reason is that people like books. They like to hold them, they like the way they smell, they like the way they look lined up on a shelf."

ETA: Ah, finally a satisfying entry in which someone does math.


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