Friday, January 15, 2010

Ebook Sales and Reader Survey

The following discussion from today's Publishers Lunch sheds more light on the whole "Should I have an ebook or not" question.

"The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has released headline results from their first survey of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, conducted among approximately 550 people from Bowker's PubTrack Consumer panel who said they had purchased an ebook within the past year.

Computers were still the top e-reading "devices," cited by 47 percent of respondents, followed by the Kindle at 32 percent and other e-readers at 10 percent. "Roughly one-fifth of survey respondents said they've stopped purchasing print books within the past 12 months in favor of acquiring the e-book editions."

One question asked how, for a favorite author, consumers would behave if the ebook was not available when the hardcover is released. The responses seem to underscore general consumer confusion in this area (and the replies are guesses....) Thirty percent think they would wait for three months to buy the ebook; 24 percent would go ahead and buy the hardcover instead. Six percent expect they would buy both versions, and over a third weren't sure what they would do.

Not unsurprisingly, the top characteristic driving ebook purchases is "affordability," followed by "easy to download," "readability," "instant access to books," and "portability."

The survey will be repeated two more times this year, at three month intervals, to track changes in consumer attitudes, Angela Bole from the BISG and Kelly Gallagher from Bowker will present and discuss the findings at the Digital Book World conference later this month, and then again at TOC in February.

View the full media release: Release."

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