No one buys book apps, we are all screwed

In a majestically depressing graph, which you can check out here, we find that, while book related apps account for 18% of the apps in the iPhone app store, they only account for 3% of downloads. And, as we learned from the whole "Kindle bestsellers" thing, downloads do not mean purchases.

The caveats here are, of course, 1) that these stats were mostly collected prior to the launch of the iPad and thus Apple's bookstore, 2) that the Amazon app is a single app that you can use to download many books, and 3) these stats are crowdsourced, not official from Apple, so the potential for discrepancies are huge.

That said, I think the only right thing to do is panic about the demise of the industry. Woe to all of us, the book is dead.


  1. Way to brighten up my Monday. Thanks. :(
    I refuse to panic, though.

  2. "The book is dead," or "ebooks remain a minor part of the book market?" Why is this depressing? Color me just not getting it.

  3. I think ebooks still just remain a small part of the market. I'm early gen Y, and even I prefer the feel and weight of a real book in my hand. I like to run my hands along the library shelves, waiting for a book to snag me ala "So You Want To Be A Wizard?" I want something I can bookmark with a coupon - so I don't lose the coupon.

    It'll be another generation before ebooks really come into their own.

  4. "It'll be another generation before ebooks really come into their own."

    Longer than that, I hope.

    I know some folks in the publishing world who are depressed that ebooks are still only about 3% of the market, because they thought/think that ebooks will "save" publishing. The lack of ebooks was never the root problem of the book industry.