Case Study

The Rise and Fall of E-Books

The Digital Books also call e-books became more popular after the launch of Amazon Kindle. Let’s discuss the rise of e-books and why digital books (e-books) failed.

Most technological revolutions are made in the United States of America. 2007, the year when Jeff Bezos launched the groundbreaking device Amazon Kindle.

By the end of 2010, Amazon claimed that the company sold more e-books than physical books!

This device offered thousands of digital books also call e-books on a single device. That means one need not to carry books while travelling from one place to another. In addition, people found it difficult to read a long time on a screen in the earlier days. Kindle has the night vision and automatic brightness changing feature which is far more powerful than mobile devices.

Today, Kindle has millions of books on a single device.

Between 2010 – 2015, the ebook business grew rapidly. As a result, most authors preferred to sell ebooks.

But, what happened after 2015?

Why Digital Books (E-Books) Failed?

We, the humans have adopted to almost each and every technology based change in our life.

When the ebook business was soaring in 2014, people believed that the invention of an ebook will completely change the way of reading books.

Since the launch of Kindle, physical books or I should say printed books have been dominating the industry.

It is being observed that the market share of e-books in the industry is going down. People who have bought Kindle are now shifting to physical books. And this trend is observed world-wide.

According to the research conducted in the USA in 2017, 67% of people read physical books and 26% of people in the USA read e-books.

In 2018, publishers received $26 billion in revenue by selling books in three formats. Physical, E-book and Audio. Physical books undoubtedly received a massive amount of market share with $22 B. Whereas e-books received $2 B and audiobook received $1.2 B.

One big reason of failing e-book is the exponential growth of audio industry.

Also read: Audio Entertainment and Education – Case Study

When it comes to reading an ebook, we need to have a smartphone or a Kindle. When we read, we simply do not focus on other activities. For instance, it is impossible to read and at the same time go to walk.

With the help of audiobooks, we do not need to carry a Kindle device. What we need is just a smartphone and a paid or a free subscription of an app. That’s it.

The way the Audio industry is growing indicates that people love listening rather than reading on a mobile screen. In addition, listening to audiobooks saves more time. While listening to an audiobook, we can do multiple activities such as we can go to the gym, we can go for a walk, we can cook food and so on.

However, the audio industry is still very small compare to ebook but it is likely to surpass.

Conclusion :

Readers love printed books. When it comes to reading, technology cannot replace this old and traditional way of reading.

Anuj Vohra

Hi , I am Anuj Vohra. I write articles about technology, economics, and business case studies at

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Anuj Vohra

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