As Kindle sales are plummeting and the company’s stock is plunging, one of the reasons is that readers have grown impatient with the ebook experience.
A new study from Adobe and The Information shows that Kindle book readers have become far more dissatisfied with their current ebook experience than the rest of the public.
“Kindle is still the most-popular ebook, but it is becoming a bit more like the traditional paperback book, and the digital reader is catching up to the physical book,” Adobe’s Matthew Furlong wrote.
“A majority of readers don’t find the ebook to be as easy to read as the printed book, but many of them have become more dissatisfied.”
For example, the study found that the average reader found the ebook more challenging than the print book.
But only about a third of readers found it to be equally challenging, while the remaining third found it a bit easier.
Furlong noted that the number of people who find the Kindle to be more difficult than the printed version of a book also has decreased.
But he said the trend is not necessarily a good one.
“The question is, will people buy Kindle books again, if they do buy them?” he said.
“I don’t think it’s going to be enough to offset the loss of customers from the printing and publishing business.
People who are going to buy new books are probably not going to purchase a new print book.”
A lot of new books on the market aren’t being made to the same standard as the previous generation of books, Furlink said.
“The traditional print books are not going out of fashion.
It’s not a print book for everybody, but if you’re reading for the average person, then a book with the same story will be a more satisfying reading experience.”
But Adobe said the shift in ebook usage is not all bad.
The study found readers are actually more likely to purchase the digital book.
“More than 90 percent of Kindle readers report they will buy a digital book if they can find it, while about 20 percent say they will never buy a printbook,” Furlung wrote.
And Adobe is working on a new eBook that includes the book’s creator, Frankenstein.
The publisher said the new book is being designed to be a companion to Frankenstein’s book, which has been out for more than a decade.
“Frankenstein’s Book of the Dead, which was published in 2002, has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide,” Adobe said.