In a study released this week by Pew Research Center, it’s clear that print books remain the dominant medium for readers.
Despite the increased interest in ebooks from 2007 to now, and the increased interest in audio books over the last handful of years, Pew’s recent study shows that print books clearly rule the market. Just look that the results of their study.
While the percentage of readers that read print books has dropped from 71% to 65% over the last 5 years (a 6% drop), this is identical to the 6% drop of people that read a book in any format during that same time period (from 79% to 73%). I think this drop is more indicative of a decrease in individuals reading books and focusing their reading attention on mobile content, rather than an isolated drop in print book readership.
The good news is that the percentage of individuals that read ebooks has increase by over 60% since 2011, which means that more people are likely branching out to reading both print books and ebooks. Getting a Kindle from my wife last Christmas, you can count me in the list of those individuals that now read both print and ebook content.
With 65% of Americans reporting they’ve read a print book in the last year and only 28% reporting they’ve read an ebook, however, one thing is clear. Self published authors cannot simply rely on the ebook format if they’re hoping to reach a full audience. Self published authors need to continue to focus on print book sales.
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I agree. We need both options, because people have different preferences about which medium to use in order to read books. And not everyone is tech-savvy. If you’re anything like me, you still savor that new book smell, holding an actual book in your hands. Collecting books by your favorite author. Not that I don’t enjoy a Kindle read from time to time. 😉