A recent post is titled “Book Sales as a Technology Trend Indicator.” It’s a great summary of the computer book market, sales trends over the past couple of years, what’s hot today, etc. It’s important to note, as a reader already commented there, that the data presented is more of a “lagging indicator” than a “leading indicator.” Nevertheless, it’s all good information.
Here are a few of the more interesting points:
- The market appears to have hit bottom. A chart is used to show how 2004 sales were down vs. 2003, but that 2005’s sales (through March) are mapping well to 2004’s levels.
- Hot topics include Photoshop Elements, iPod, Sharepoint and Filemaker. Topics heading the other direction include Mac OS X, Dreamweaver and Flash, although Tim points out that each of these are now on older versions and are likely to pick up again with new releases.
- Red Hat was a topic called out separately. As Tim rightfully notes, the book market changed dramatically when Red Hat first released Fedora. He says the Red Hat book market is down 29% while Linux as a whole is up 32%. I can vouch for the fact that Red Hat books aren’t as dominant anymore, and that our general Linux Bible and our SuSE Linux Bible are both doing quite well now. I guess that in an odd way, we have Red Hat to thank for that.