Larry Bonura's Blog

Random thoughts filling my brain

Bowker: Gen Y Zooms to the Lead in Book Buying

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According to Bowker, Generation Y, those born between 1979 and 1989, spent the most money on books in 2011, taking over long-held book-buying leadership from Baby Boomers.  That’s according to its 2012 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review, a publishing industry’s consumer-based report integrating channel, motivation, and category analysis of U.S. book buyers.

The Review, prepared by Bowker Market Research and industry trade magazine Publishers Weekly, notes that Gen Y’s 2011 book expenditures rose to 30%—up from 24% in 2010—passing Boomers, with a 25% share.  And with 43% of Gen Y’s purchases going to online channels, they are adding momentum to the industry shift to digital.

“The book industry is operating in a new and dynamic landscape that puts much more power in the hands of consumers,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice-president of Bowker Market Research.  “Consumers can now very easily purchase virtually any book they want, whenever they want it, and get it at a competitive price.  It’s more essential than ever before to understand who is buying and what their expectations and habits are.”

The Review explores demographic changes in the context of overall market trends culled from the Bowker Market Research consumer panel of almost 70,000 Americans who bought books of any format and from any source in 2011.  It reveals another pivotal year in the evolution of the book industry, marked by such significant events as:

  • The collapse of Borders Group, Inc., which accelerated movement of book sales to online retailers and away from bookstore chains.  By the fourth quarter of 2011, online retailers’ share of unit purchases had risen to 39%, up from 31% at the close of 2010.  Conversely, chains’ share fell to 30% in the fourth quarter of 2011 from 36% in the last period of 2010.
  • Continued growth of e-book consumption, which rose from 4% of unit sales in 2010 to 14% in 2011.  Among major sub-genres, e-books had the most impact in the mystery/detective category, accounting for 17% of spending, followed by romance and science fiction, where the format accounted for 15% of dollars spent.
  • The slow economic recovery continued to nudge more book spending into affluent households in 2011, where 57% of book spending came from households earning more than $50,000 annually, up from 54% in 2010.
  • Though still a more powerful spending group than men, women’s lead in book buying slipped a bit as purchases declined to 62% from 65% in 2010 and their share of spending dropped to 55% from 58% in 2010.

“There has never been a more dynamic time in the publishing industry than the one we are in now,” said Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly co-editorial director and editor of the annual Review.  “The information in the annual review is just what is needed to help all industry members adjust to the new publishing reality.”

Bowker Market Research is a service of Bowker, an affiliate of global information company ProQuest.

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Kindle, Nook Sales Slow…Use Smartphone eReader Instead

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According to DigiTimes Research, global shipments of eBook readers expected to reach only 2 million units in Q1 2012, down from 9 million shipped in Q4 2011.  This isn’t because people are not eReading, but because of the launch of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet PCs, which has resulted in a substitution effect for Kindle eBook readers.  As a result, Amazon has reduced its orders for eBook readers from upstream suppliers since the beginning of 2012, said DigiTimes Research.

Overall, global shipments of eBook readers amounted to 22.82 million units in 2011, increasing 107% from a year earlier.  DigiTimes Research estimates that annual shipments of eBook readers are expected to top 60 million units by 2015, The major reason for such a big decline is the success of Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.  You could say “success of tablets”, but actually this is a new circumstance. The research states that “Since the introduction of the Nook Color there is no clear distinction any more between an eReader (it used to have an e-ink screen) and a tablet (multipurpose, color-screen). Nook Color is a single-purpose device with a color screen.  What’s even more important, Kindle Fire and both color Nooks are highly associated with eBooks, because they were launched by eBookstores. Apparently they became an alternative not for those who wanted to buy a tablet, but those who wanted to buy an eReader.”

One way to get around having that device is to read your eBooks on your smartphone.  It’s just as easy and you only have to carry one device around.  Of course, you may have to be willing to give up the “eReader experience” much as you have to give up the “book experience.”  But, overall, it’s the information gained, the knowledge applied that really counts.

Here are some free eReaders that you can use on a smartphone (depending upon OSes, obviously):

Remember: This is Read an eBook Week.  Do your part.  Read an eBook!

Written by Larry S. Bonura

7 March 2012 at 00:08

It’s That Time of Year: Read an eBook Week, 4-10 March

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March is here and that means it’s time for Read an eBook Week. This is the event’s ninth year.

Read an eBook Week 2012 Ad

From the web site: “Read an eBook Week was first registered with Chase’s Calendar of Events in 2004. Chase’s is a day by day directory of special days, weeks and months used by event planners or anyone looking for a reason to celebrate. By having the week officially recognized, eBook authors and publishers acquired a certain extra ‘legitimacy’ during that week to promote the new technology of eBooks. The public and media were initially wary of eBooks and many doors were closed to promotion. With the week officially recognized by Chase’s, authors reported they now had access to television morning chat shows and were allowed to set up library displays during the week-long event.”

Read an eBook Week educates and informs the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically. Authors, publishers, vendors, the media and readers world-wide are welcome to join in the effort. “We encourage you to promote electronic reading with any event,” according to the web site. These could include: public readings, library displays, reading challenges, school visits, newspaper and blog articles, chat show appearances, internet radio interviews, e-book give-ways, and banners on your website.

Written by Larry S. Bonura

29 February 2012 at 03:07

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Data Conversion Laboratory survey: eBook “Quality” Top Factor for 2012

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Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL), a leading provider of digital publishing services, reports 70% of 411 respondents to a survey drawn from a cross-section of the publishing industry cited “quality” as the most important consideration when publishing an eBook. Another important finding is that 63% of the respondents plan to publish a digital book in 2012.

“Eighteen months ago, more publishers were concerned about getting their information onto an eBook platform and quality was not the overarching theme it is now,” said DCL President and CEO Mark Gross. “The survey demonstrates that the publishing industry realizes consumers will not tolerate typos and bad formatting on a $15 eBook,” predicted Gross.

In another shift from tradition, 64% of the respondents stated they were interested in publishing non-fiction and technical digital content. This statistic is indicative of an expansion in the use of ereaders from casual reading of novels to a myriad of business and technical applications.

“The survey confirms what we have been hearing from publishers, that while the initial push to digital was important, they are now seeing a need to go with the best partners and to improve their quality control and workflow,” said Bill Trippe, vice president and lead analyst at Outsell, Inc. an industry analyst firm. “Digital products are becoming the lifeblood for publishers, and consumers are expecting an optimal experience,” he added.

The DCL survey also discovered that 43% of publishers realized the importance of compatibility with all ereaders, including iPad, MOBI (Kindle), Nook, and custom formats. Within the publishers group, the iPad edged out Kindle at 44% as an ereader, versus 36% preferring a Kindle.

Smartphone Apps Used for Work

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A nice look at the applications used on smartphone for work:

Which do you use?  Complete the following poll:

 

Written by Larry S. Bonura

19 January 2012 at 04:29

Posted in Uncategorized

AAP eBook Sales Dip Further in October

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Reported in the 23 Dec 2011 Publishers Lunch newsletter:

“The AAP announced their tabulation of sales for October from reporting publishers. In the closely watched eBook sales category–where the AAP’s monthly number is the only standing statistic we have to go on, the now 20 reporting publishers recorded sales of $72.8 million, down from $80.3 million in August. It’s the lowest monthly eBook total recorded since April, and lower as an absolute comparison since the matching results that month came from just 14 publishers.

Seasonably sizable shipments of print books and flat month-to-month eBook sales trends left digital books in fourth place, trailing hardcover and trade paperback adult sales as well as hardcover children’s books. eBooks comprised just 12.6 percent of all recorded trade sales. (As a reminder, the AAP counts religious sales as trade; we do not in calculating our percentages, in part because their “religious” category includes both print and eBook sales.)

Once again, the gain in eBook sales compared to a year ago (up $32.6 million) could not overcome the decline in print sales, with the monthly trade sales total for October of $577.6 million down almost 10 percent from $639.5 million a year ago.”

Written by Larry S. Bonura

24 December 2011 at 01:40

Posted in ebook

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Jeremy Greenfield’s 10 Bold Predictions for Book Publishing in 2012

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Take a gander at Jeremy Greenfield’s 10 bold predictions for book publishing in 2012. Jeremy, the Digital Book World Editorial Director, lists the following predictions:

  1. We will see more self-published best-sellers next year with an exponential rise in the number of million-selling authors.
  2. Large publishing companies will go through major restructurings, creating new positions and redundancies of all shapes and sizes.
  3. Amazon will come out with a larger tablet with an 8.9-inch screen and it will be priced at $299 or lower.
  4. Apple will come out with a smaller iPad at a reduced price.
  5. Sony will get a second life in the e-reader game when Pottermore launches in the Spring.
  6. Literary agencies will engage in a campaign to communicate the value of their services to the book industry.
  7. Authors will become disenchanted with the rights they sign away to publishers. Shorter and more flexible copyright terms will become more attractive to authors.
  8. The standard e-book royalty from major publishing houses will rise next year and will escalate with increased sales.
  9. Standards of what an app and what a book is will change and apps will eventually be sold in the iBookstore.
  10. More publishing companies will form in-house transmedia groups.

Read the details at DigitalBookWorld.com: Ten Bold Predictions for Book Publishing in 2012

Written by Larry S. Bonura

19 December 2011 at 23:49

Posted in Uncategorized