Will Books Go the Way of Music CDs?

by Stephen Blake Mettee, The Write Thought and IBPA board treasurer


According to a recent USA Today article, retailers such as Best Buy, Target, Barnes & Noble, and Wal-Mart are cutting back on their CD selections. A Best Buy spokesperson is quoted as saying, “As people buy less, we stock less.” Sounds like a self-fulfilling cycle to this observer, but, sadly, one that isn’t likely to be reversed.


There’s more bad news….


In 2010, CD sales fell 19% and are down 8.8% this year.


Pretty dire, huh?


But wait.


Downloaded albums sales are up a healthy 16.8% and downloaded tracks are up 9.6%.


Overall music sales are up 1.6%.


Yep, you read right, music sales are up.


Music isn’t going away. Albums aren’t going away. And according to Dave Bakula of Neilson, a company which tracks weekly sales statistics, “CDs are going to be around for a long time.”


So, to summarize what’s happening:
Downloads are growing, brick and mortar store sales are slipping, online sales of CDs are strong. Music is a growing industry.


(By the way CDs are enjoying the “long-tail” effect: Amazon.com offers 4,000,000 CDs. Great for lesser-known songsters.)


Should we look for the same things to happen in books?


Yes.


The future is bright. Keep on writing and publishing.


Just a write thought.

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