Up until this year, the Wall Street Journal's projections that the eBook industry would hit billions in revenues (way back in 2012), I would have been skeptical. The Journal gave projections that at the time seemed implausible, but trend-wise also was right on course.
I'm going to say that 2014/2015 (just as projected) are demonstrating that rapid and precipitous upward trend predicted back in 2012. Last summer is when we noticed a dramatic shift that caught our attention at 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com). Just a year ago, print sales still rivaled eBook sales to the point that we could still largely put our investment on print with confidence. Now just a year later I wouldn't make that kind of assertion.
Today the greatest example is the No. #1 selling Chocolate Flowers by Jori Nunes. Early sales figures show for every print copy sold, she's selling 10 eBooks. Yes, that is a 1 to 10 ratio (and that's an estimate). We cannot say the same about children's picture books -- that market with the advent of the more capable readers such as Kindle Fire is now starting to develop.
Now the foreign markets do not reflect the U.S. domestic market. We are just beginning to develop those areas in publishing. It's safe to say that the eBook revolution has more than begun. While print loyalists will feel distressed and pray for their paper books to remain available (and they will), expect to see this rapid trend continue. We have an entire generation coming up that spends their lives online and on the Smart Phone. Many of them are not paper loyalists, and soon as is the case in most of life their consumer demand will drive the market to its realization of what it will be.
The good news: fewer trees will be cut down. Affordability and price will be to the consumer advantage. Author royalties increase. Profitability comes with less storage space and consumption of natural resources (gas) and transportation. As a publisher managing storage, fulfillment,