The year-end issue of O’Reilly’s author newsletter discussed the trends O’Reilly has been seeing the past few years, and their predictions for 2011. The key trend is that digital is now more than ever poised to take over print:
Our digitally distributed products have grown from 18.36% of our publishing mix in 2009 to 28.09% of our mix in 2010. What is more impressive is that our digitally distributed products have produced more than double the revenue that has been lost with the decline of print. I think this is important because some say that digital cannibalizes print products. Our data indicates the contrary, as print is declining much more slowly than digital is growing. I think we may be seeing developers purchasing a print book, and then purchasing the electronic editions to search and copying code from, as the incremental cost for digital is more than reasonable.
My own book seems to be leading this trend. Thanks to everyone who purchased it!
It’s also interesting that none of the top 5 ebooks made the top 5 of print books.