According to PW Daily, the Publishers Weekly e-newsletter, sales of e-books showed a 150% jump in July's figures (presumably the latest available). This can only be good news for readers (more good books available at lower prices) and publishers (finally, an escape from the book-business tradition of accepting returned books from previous "purchases" by shops, and some relief to production and storage costs). What it will mean for authors and bookshops is still up in the air, but here at the Kingdom Books blog, we'll keep letting you know as special e-books appear.
For now, I know what it means for me: If I have a chance to read something as a file first, I may do it -- and then purchase the hardcover book, because it feels better and is gives a nicer reading experience than most e-readers can yet offer. Also, I love author-signed books, with that authenticity endowed by the author's presence. (Yes, that's another reminder about how excited we are to have Maine mystery author Gerry Boyle coming here this weekend to sign stacks of his current and earlier books, right back to the first title. Dave's taking reservations for copies.)
So while the "outer world" is introducing e-books, Dave and I are focusing on providing the nicest copies of author-signed mysteries. Here's our own statistic to accompany PW's: Fifty percent of the mysteries and crime fiction here are signed. That's a 150% increase from last year. Expect more.