Fewer than 1% of books published sell over 50,000 copies.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Business Facts
From some 2006 stats:
172,000 new books published in the U.S. every year.
Only 1000 books sell more than 50,000 copies in retail channels.
Under 25,000 books sell more than 5,000 copies.
93% of books published (160,000) sell less than 1,000 copies.
e-Books will likely create more book sales, although it's unclear how much more.
sounds like a new goal
We can hope that Kindles and iPads make people buy more books.
I just don't know that that's actually true.
I think it will still be a tournament industry, 80/20 rule and all that. (Although more like 99/1 in this case...)
With there only being 24hrs in a day and such an explosion of media access, now all entertainment competes with everything else.
More instant movies on Netflix and Amazon than you can EVER watch, more web pages than you can EVER surf... Opportunity cost is more of an issue than ever.
Add in rapid communication technology, memes and the internet echo chamber effect and *boom* -- media will likely only get more winner-take-all-Pareto, hence astronomical summer movie budgets. We can only see so much and we will want to see what our friends saw.
I don't know if more books will really get read. The only thing definitely changing is who holds the reins of which books get published and how they are distributed.
In a future of abundance, Curation, Personalization, and Recommendation become important tools so that every experience can be a good one.
I'm imagining again that iPhone app of the future that tells me when I pull it up what the next thing I should read or watch is.