Gizmag has an interesting article today about color e-Ink. They claim it will not have any impact on ereaders. I hope they are wrong. Paperwhites, and their ilk, are one of the largest drags of ebook publishing today.
They are great for simple novels and white papers. They are quite bad for non-fiction with its need for complex lists, large tables, color images, and so on.
Color e-ink could bring the most popular ereaders to a new level
They could open the ebook market even more to a huge category of books: non-fiction. Statistica tells us that non-fiction continues to drop in its share of the ebook marketplace. But 40% is a lot. In Christian ebooks, fiction dominates. But in the industry as a whole, non-fiction is larger than fiction for adults. Christian non-fiction is a category with strong growth, but not so much in ebooks.
This is certainly no surprise to any of us who watch the industry. At authorearnings.com, the stats are 22% of earnings are from non-fiction. But the overall market tells a completely different story. In 2014, for example, Publisher’s Weekly tells us that while adult fiction sold 138 million books, an 8% drop, adult non-fiction sold 240 million, a 1% increase.
Ebooks are a small percentage of the industry, even today. In 2014, they were around 25% according to Nielsen. Recent stats suggest that this percentage is falling a bit. I saw a glimpse of one link which said that ebooks were closer to 5% of the huge publishing market. (I can’t find the link again, sorry.) However, there is room for a lot of growth. Christian non-fiction is one of the strongest categories, even in ebooks, as far as growth is concerned.
Will color e-ink help non-fiction grow?
Who knows? But I find it to be a hopeful possibility.
What do you think?