According to Terrance Finley, CEO of Books-A-Million, the low-hanging fruit of ebook sales have been plucked. As he notes: There’s nothing on the horizon from a technology perspective that leads us to conclude that there would be technology to push dramatically different consumption levels of digital books, and prices are already very low. So all of that being said, we do think we’ve reached a certain stabilization point.
Plus, Finley completely ignored the new epub standards that are incorporating audio, video and interactivity into ebooks. That new technology is going to push ebook sales to even greater heights, especially when Kindle begins to incorporate the same standards.
If you don’t understand the new multimedia interactive standards in epub books, it’s time you start to check it out.
Ebooks are not going to remain as digital copies of printed books. They are going to push the meaning of books to an entirely new standard for the future — and they should. Think video inside books. Think audio inside books. Think interactivity, including the incorporation of websites and apps, inside books. We’ve had a taste of this in PDF before, but when ereaders and ebooks incorporate these standards, things are going to explode even more.
In reality, all the apps for smartphones and tablets have already changed the world of reading. Apps, after all, are simply books in a different format. Indeed, we are already living in this new world of the future. And, sadly, most publishers have barely incorporated this new world into their publishing programs.
And most authors have also ignored the new world of apps and multimedia ebooks. That includes me. Alas.
But things are changing, and we need to change with them.
2021 update: Ebooks have changed in many ways, evolving into apps even more (as I predicted) and incorporating all the power of videos, audios, interactivity, and even branching stories. Fantastic!