Michael Kozlowski, who has been writing about e-books for quite some time, now considers the format doomed:
Major publishers have gained the ability to dictate their own prices on e-books and this has dramatically increased the cost to the customer. In many cases the hardcover is actually cheaper than the digital version and this is primarily due to predatory pricing.
Publishers have been making moves to capitalize on the convenience and instant delivery of e-Books by making them more expensive than their printed counterparts. I have talked to many high ranking executives off the record and they have told me that they foresee the destruction of the e-book market and are anticipating higher profits on print down the road.
There are many companies that are heavily involved in the e-book sector that have went out of business over the course of the last year. Sony killed off their consumer e-reader division and abandoned the Reader Store in every country, but Japan. Diesel eBooks, Oyster, Entitle, Txtr, Blinkbox Books and others have all closed up shop because e-books are no longer profitable.
The Kindle “has disappeared to all intents and purposes”, said James Daunt the head of Britain’s biggest book chain Waterstones. He also reported that print book sales lifted by 5% in December 2014 and that they plan on opening at least a dozen stores in 2015 . Foyles, the London chain of bookstores, said sales of physical books had risen 11% last Christmas. Across the pond, Australian bookseller Jon Page of Page and Pages said “Sales were up 3% last year, and will increase by 6% in 2015, which is fantastic because for the last three years we’d actually seen a decline.”
In a few short years most digital bookstores will be out of business and Amazon and Kobo will likely be the only players left. The only digital bookstores that will survive will be companies offering both hardware/software solutions and everyone else will be gone. The destruction of the digital book market has already been set in motion and there is nothing that can prevent the format from being completely annihilated.