Friday, December 04, 2009

Survey Re: E-Books

All the news every day seems to center on E-books. The Bookseller, on December 2nd, reported on a survey of more than 1,000 book trade professionals prior to The Bookseller’s Digital Conference.

Here are some of the results of that survey:
The results showed that though 44% of respondents had read a book digitally, only 19% had bought one. The majority of respondents said that e-books should be priced at the same cost as a paperback book (30.1%), or cheaper (53.6%).

Over 67% of the 1,080 respondents who completed the survey said that book trade professionals should re-skill to take advantage of digital media.

Almost 70% of those surveyed said that interoperable e-book formats and devices would be key to the growth of digital publishing.

The majority of respondents said that less than 10% of current sales were from e-books (47%). But by 2025 16% said that more than 51% of sales would be from digital content, whereas just 5% said the electronic market would be less than 10% of total sales.
To read more results from the survey, be sure to click over and read the full article.
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  1. Higher numbers than I would've expected.

  2. I'm ready to be an e-reader but only when they make one I can safely read in the bath. That's where my reading occurs. My sibs and I tried to buy my soon to be 85 year old Dad one for his birthday as his eyes are failing but it was a no go. He just got irritated. It's coming and we might as well get on board.

  3. I like Jan's comment! :) It's true. And how about for clumsy readers, like me? I'm always dropping things...I've dropped my cell phone and digital camera numerous times...I'd hate to lose all my books in one blow! :)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. That 44% have read an e-book while only 19% have bought one are the figures that worry me – and probably many other authors and publishers as well.

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  6. I'd like to think that we'll always have a choice, to some extent anyways. Paper or E-. I don't know if that'll be the case, there definitely seems to be a shift going on.

  7. Y'all are so interesting. I drop things too, yet had not considered that I could break my e-reader and lose all my books! Ye-gads.

    Joanne, I do think the shift to e-books is occurring, but I don't think or can't imagine there will be no print books. If it happens, I won't be here for sure.

  8. I admit to waiting for the price of e-readers to come down a little bit and I want one compatibile with everything.
    It does disturb me how many people have read an e-book without buying it. As someone who constantly battles pirate sites that are stealing my books, I hope the technology can soon catch up to those durn thieves.
    I also believe we'll have the choice of paper or electronic books for a long time.

  9. I have a feeling that the majority of those who download books from a sharing site without paying don't think of it as stealing. They think of it as a great deal.

  10. Jan's comment is the third time I've heard of someone reading in the bath.

    Never have done sounds wonderful.

    Perhaps, though, I should TAKE baths with all the lovely oils and salts.

    I'm more of a shower girl, myself.

    Still, e-readers can't be used there either.

    I do know people who only read on their electronic devices. Though they always have to pay to download book.

  11. JKS - "That 44% have read an e-book while only 19% have bought one are the figures that worry me – and probably many other authors and publishers as well."

    It was a survey of book trade professionals. That number could include manuscripts that are loaded onto e-book readers for proof-reading, appraisal or general slush pile reading.

    Or they could be reading classics, or any of the hundreds of free e-books out there.

    I don't think it's a particularly ominous statistic.

    I'd venture to say that 19% of them having bought an e-book is pretty impressive.

  12. I'm still not sure about e-books. I like turning pages. If I traveled a lot I could see them being a convenience.

  13. I've been thinking of getting DH an e-reader. He does travel a lot and it would take up less room in his briefcase, but which one? Which would be compatible with all formats of books? Which is the easiest to use? akk! I should do some research.

  14. I'm going to wait awhile before I jump into the world of e-books. I'm perfectly content with paper books and don't want to spend the money on an e-reader when there are so many other things to spend money on and the library is just a few minutes away. If I traveled a lot, though -- or read books for a living, for that matter -- I can see the advantages, as others have said.

    Thanks for the interesting post, Helen!

  15. Helen - e-book readers are like Tivo was all those years ago. The technology is fine right now but it's going to get cheaper and better soon.

    By the time the standards war has sorted itself out and people are writing jokes about Kindle on sit-coms, then it'll be time for the non tech-obsessed (guilty!) to look at them.

  16. Like VHS or Beta, if you remember back that far, I believe standardization is key and being able to download to any reader.

  17. Interesting figures. But I still go for paperbacks and hardbound books. Despite the conveniences posed by ebooks, there is nothing like the smell of books and the feel of their page,s which bring back fond memories of those wonderful times I spent at the library in perfect solitude, with my head buried completely in an interesting book.

  18. Interesting stats. I think technology will continue on with the ereaders and the hard copy books will stay around through my life time.

  19. It is interesting to see that responses vary so to this kind of survey, depending on who is participating. I have seen survey results that have sales figures higher than 10% for e-book. I think it was on J.A. Konrath's blog.

    Regardless of the numbers today, the future will see considerable growth in sales of e-books.

  20. I agree with both of you, Conda and Maryann!

  21. There's no stopping this. E-books and e-readers will improve and there will be the option to piggy back advertising, which will increase revenue for everybody. Video content will be added and enjoyed by fans. Of course e-book piracy will flourish, but it won't prevent change.

    There will come a time when we won't have a choice.

    I like holding books, looking at book shelves, but I'm a dinosaur. Imagine lying in a hammock, putting on your sun glasses, tapping the frame, and words appear. Blink to scroll.

  22. Ooh, Simon, you are indeed looking into the future.

    Maybe...once they begin to put ads within the books or accompanying the books, they will also have a way to stop prirate downloads since they will have to have more security for the ads.

  23. Very interesting stuff. I love my books and their smell and the feel of turning the pages. Can't beat it. But technology is advancing in such leaps, and so many aspects of life are changing, it will be interesting to see the reality in even 5 years.


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