Will ebooks impact PC market as sales rise?

Self-published Kindle author reaches one million sold mark

Online retailer Amazon has announced that John Locke has become the eighth author to sell over one million Kindle books – and the he’s the first self-published author to manage it.

The other authors that have surpassed the million mark include big names Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Charlaine Harris, Lee Child, Suzanne Collins and Michael Connelly.

What’s interesting about John Locke is that he’s effectively an indie author, using Kindle Direct Publishing to make his books available to readers without going through the normal route of finding a publisher first. Self-publishing is nothing new, but the rise of ebooks means authors can do it without making an outlay themselves and at Amazon’s 99 cent price range, they get 35 per cent of the cover price. With good marketing (and/or good timing and writing), even indie authors can storm up the charts. And, thanks to the success of the Kindle, they can sell large numbers of copies in doing so.

So what’s this got to do with PCs? Well, Amazon.com revealed in May that Kindle books now outsell paperback and hardback print titles combined. This, and the increasing number of authors selling in huge numbers, points to a huge number of readers now reading books in electronic formats – including on PC.

Of course they’re often reading them on dedicated ereaders like the Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook. But smartphones, tablets and PCs also have apps (including Kindle but also software such as Stanza or Calibre) for ebooks. As readers get used to devouring books this way, it will be increasingly natural for them to sit in front a screen to read.

It’s unlikely that someone will walk into a shop and ask for a desktop machine just so they can read ebooks, but perhaps one day e-ink monitors will be widely available, or people will seek external hard drives for storing books rather than music or photos. Tablets in particular are a natural choice for people who like holding a book in their hands. And some computer retailers may even choose to stock ereaders themselves.

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