So you can read my books

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Like Victor Standish's life ...

that would be yes ... and no.  
Take these stats from the AAP (Association of Am. Publishers):
E-book sales increase 41% in 2012
E-book sales increase 117% in 2011
E-book sales increase 164% in 2010

Seems like things are really slowing down right?

Let's look at those numbers again in real terms:

E-book sales in 2012: $1.3 billion (+$330.1 million)

E-book sales in 2011: $969.9 million (+$528.6 million)

E-book sales in 2010: $441.3 million (+$274.4 million)

E-book sales in 2009: $166.9 million

Yes, 2011 was a huge increase. 

But growth in 2012 (41%) was still greater than in 2010, when it represented a 164% increase.
Here's what that looks like in chart form:

  Does that look like a decline to you?
UPDATE: As Nathan Bransford notes in his interesting post:  

the AAP's stats don't count self-published e-books, which could account for as many as 25% of all e-book sales

How are Neil Gaiman and I alike?

Oh, how I wish it were in the quality of my prose!  LOL.

If you know about about the genesis of THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS ...


You know my Lakota mother made up tales of Hibbs to tell me as I lay ill long, terrible days and nights ...

Then, she read to me and my friends later on to create the fabled LEAGUE OF FIVE.

Here is Neil to tell you his story:


     I grew up in a world where stories were read aloud.  

     My mother read to me.

     My father and grandparents invented stories, mostly about animals,

      which they would tell me at bedtime. 

     Some of my earliest memories are listening to stories on the radio as a boy in England. I had a record of  poems that I played until it was one long scratch.  

     I didn't rediscover spoken-word stories until I was a parent. I would read to my children, and began to supplement that with cassette audiobooks. 

     They made car journeys pass faster, more interestingly. And you knew you had a good one when nobody wanted to get out of the car at the end of the journey. 

Are you like Neil Gaiman, too?


  1. Hi Roland .. I don't think the trend of reading or listening, or more importantly writing is going away -

    - and I imagine many a child had stories played in the car, or via MP3 players or ... whatever the current trend is! and listened to them going to sleep ... my imagination sent me to sleep.

    Your audio book/s is/are such a good idea .. very good luck with that project .. cheers Hilary

  2. Being read to as a child or reading to your own child is a tradition that instills the love of the written word in a young heart.

  3. Hilary:
    I hope you are right. With those I work with, only three out of fifty read books for pleasure and they are older than my other co-workers. How sad.

    Yes, I can still remember my mother reading to me. I wonder how many mothers still read to their young children these days?

  4. How many mothers read to their kids these days? I wonder, too. It is a bonding thing. It would be too easy to give them a device to amuse them, but the interaction is lost in that case.

    I think my girls grew up loving to read because we showed them books are important! Stories keep us in touch with the human race.

  5. I am, and happy to be so! I sued to listen to stories on cassette all the time. I still have a tape player - I'd like to see if I can find those old tapes in my parents' house.

  6. One degree from Neil Gaiman!
    My mother read to me, but she didn't make up stories. Neither of my parents are the creative type.
    And that doesn't look like a decline to me...

  7. My mom read to me. And I loved listening to Mom and Grandma tell stories of the 'good ole days.' In the car, we sang every single song we knew. Mom had a great alto voice.

    These days? Sadly, I believe reading to kids is on the decline. I can tell in my room who gets read to. And cars now have dvd players in them. Which, to a point, is great. But interaction is needed too.

    Great post!

  8. D.G.:
    Mothers tend to read to their children if they were read to, and this past generation was the Me generation with little time to spare at night for their children. Sigh.

    Good for you. I had records of the old LONE RANGER radio shows when I was small. When my home burned, they were destroyed. It hurt to lose that part of my childhood!

    It was great of your parents to take the time to read to you. That bred in you the creativity that is there today.

    Words Crafter:
    Yes, I could tell in my English classes who were read to and who were not either! We are breeding a generation of children who do not value the written word. Double Sigh!

  9. I read to my kids, and let them pick out the books. I never made up stories for my kids, but I did for my siblings when we were growing up.

    I've never been good a stories about animals.


  10. Donna:
    When I read that quote from Neil Gaiman, it just got to me thinking how alike in that we had been. I got to wondering how many of my writing friends had been read to or had read to their children.

    My mother let me pick the stories for her to read a lot, too. That was why she read a lot of Popeye and Disney characters! :-)