I make it a point to read Morris Rosenthal's blog on self-publishing weekly. Morris is one of the founding fathers so to speak of the current state of self-publishing and has many insights into the business of self-publishing, something most authors seem to avoid.
His blog this week concerns Kindle Sales by Amazon during a one week period, namely the week of December 26-January 1. Based on Morris' numbers, Amazon sold over 3 million Kindle books during the aforementioned time span. Morris always has some interesting commentary and insights about the publishing industry, technology and how the rapid changes we all face as self-publishing authors will impact our industry.
In fact, Morris tracks Amazon sales rankings of both paper and Kindle books and provides charts that allow interpretation of sales rankings and what they mean in terms of actual sales.
Morris and his math models aside, just what does the current trend in Kindle sales mean for authors who self-publish? Simply it means you better get on board the eBook express. Either learn HTML and convert your files for your POD books for Kindle publication as well as the ePubit format for Nook and other similar eReader devices or pay a qualified professional to do it for you.
I don't think the POD business model is going to go away any time soon and as authors we will need to continue to take advantage of the POD technology to get our books into print in traditional book form. At the same time we will need to embrace the new eBook technology.
As the technology grows in popularity with younger readers, and yes, I can vouch for younger readers in today's world (my real job is teaching high school history and coaching basketball) and their embracing of technology as the means by which they obtain information, I have to believe more and more books will be sold as eBooks and not as traditional paper books.
Just as the eBook seems to be growing in popularity with fiction readers, it is growing in popularity with schools and school districts. Our math department uses eBooks almost exclusively. The history department I work in uses eDocuments for many of our primary source documents, saving the department a great deal of expense allowing us to maximize our limited budget.
All of this seems to indicate an ever moving push towards the eBook as a commonly excepted format for books and other forms of information.