Some thoughts on the ebook sales figures
For the longest time now, I’ve taken a position on ebook sales that is different from virtually every one else who has cared to comment on it. I insist on considering the data month by month, and most people aggregate the monthly figures into quarterly or yearly.
TBH, one is supposed to look at the data both ways because they tell you different things. But until someone else starts considering the monthly change, I’ll just focus on the one way and leave the other to everyone else.
Here’s the thing. I want to know _why_ the market is increasing, not just how much. You can’t tell that from the yearly figures, so I have to check the month by month.
Here’s a plot of the AAP sales figures for ebooks from November 2008 to September 2010*. Do you see the plateaus? There are 2 in this graph; one starts in January 2010 and the other in July 2010.
These plateaus are symptoms of market behavior that you can’t see in yearly figures. What caused them? Why did the market go from fluctuations and incremental changes every month to irregular jumps? This is something everyone should be talking about.
I don’t know why the plateaus are happening, but I suspect it’s because of spikes in media attention that ereaders get. In January we had CES, where ereaders were the hot topic. And in July we had the K3 launch.
I could be wrong, so I’m waiting to see the data from October (when the Nook color was launched). If we see another jump, then I am probably right.
But what if I’m right, and then we see a long period without the jumps? What then?
* There’s a blank spot for January because I couldn’t find the numbers.