Category Archives: Publishing Industry Data

Need for a great book discovery tool – Million Dollar Idea

Several articles yesterday on paidcontent and Teleread talked about how important is to have a great book discovery tool and why it might fetch an entrepreneur a fortune.

I can not agree more with the authors that Book Industry has lagged behind music and movie in terms of being able to help users find books that they might want to read based on various factors. The reason for this is that Book Industry has not yet gone beyond collecting basic metadata elements about the books (price, no of pages, author, publisher, year of publication and genre) and used these basic metadata elements to filter down books. But I believe for an effective targeting system to work we would have to collect more granular/soft data about these books like mood of the book, Kind of ending, Male vs Female characters, Era etc that define the content better and thus could be used to effectively match the book to the users mood and taste.

I am sure someone soon would come up with a model to do so. Looking forward to that start-up. Great idea for us also 🙂


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Filed under Ebooks, Publishers & Authors, Publishing Industry Data, Uncategorized

The Ebook Market Is Growing Faster As It Grows Larger

The ebook market is growing faster as it grows larger.

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) on Friday reported U.S. wholesale ebook sales for January, 2010 were $31.9 million, up 261 percent from the same month a year earlier.

To put this in perspective, I created the chart at left. The chart compiles annual ebook sales data from the Association of American Publishers. For 2010, I took the latest IDPF January data and annualized it.

The data is collected from only 12-15 U.S. trade publishers. This means it dramatically understates what’s really happening in ebooks, because thousands of large and small publishers, as well as tens of thousands of independent authors, aren’t reporting their data. The data also doesn’t capture ebooks sold outside traditional retail channels.

The above omissions in no way invalidate the data, because as an indicator of direction and momentum, the AAP/IDPF data provides the best publicly available trending information I’m aware of.

What you see from my chart is that ebook sales grew nicely between 2002 and 2007, but were really too small to register on the radar screens of most industry watchers. Starting in 2008, however, the growth rate started to accelerate, and then this acceleration continued throughout 2009 and into the first month of 2010.

According to the AAP, in 2009 ebooks accounted for 3.31% of all trade book sales, up from only 1.19% in 2008. Even if sales stay flat from January onward in 2010, we’re looking at ebooks accounting for 6-8% of U.S. book sales in 2010. If sales accelerate further, a 10% monthly run rate is certainly likely by the end of this year. These numbers are dramatically higher than most reasonably-minded industry watchers predicted even a few months ago.

The rosy numbers above still dramatically underestimate the impact ebooks are having on the bottom line of authors, publishers and retailers. In January, during Amazon’s quarterly earnings conference call, Jeff Bezos announced that for books it sells in both Kindle and print formats, ebooks were then accounting for 60% of unit sales.

What’s driving the torrid growth of the U.S. ebook market?

Amazon deserves most of the credit. In January, Rory Maher of TBI Research reported that his publishing industry contacts were telling him that Amazon was accounting for 90% of all ebook sales. Other analysts have since confirmed those estimates.

The upcoming April 3 launch of Apple’s iPad, along with more aggressive moves by Google, Barnes & Noble, Sony and scores of other new ebook device makers and indie retailers, will no doubt try to chip away at Amazon’s purported 90% share.

The real story is not how or if these competitors take share from Amazon. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that an ever-growing pro-ebook crowd of powerful consumer-facing companies are pulling out all the stops to help spread the joy of ebooks to every corner of this book-hungry globe.

Why are consumers going ga ga over ebooks? Back in October, I blogged some of the reasons in my Huffington Post piece, Why Ebooks are Hot and Getting Hotter. I listed several reasons, such as the proliferation of exciting new e-reading devices; screen reading rivaling paper; content selection; free ebooks as the gateway drug; lower prices; and great selection.

If we boil it all down to what really matters, it’s about customer experience. People who try ebooks are loving ebooks.

Lest we think ebook reading is all about pricey jet set devices like the iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader and B&N nook, it’s worth considering some telling data that came out of the latest Book Industry Study Group survey. As I reported in my Tools of Change conference wrap-up, BISG found that 47% of all ebook reading is happening not on these new-fangled devices, but on ordinary computer screens.

Complete Story taken from here

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Filed under Book Retailers, Publishing Industry Data

Amazon Vs.The Publishing Industry

In the midst of the latest battle over e-book prices ($9.99 vs $14.99) between online retailer Amazon (AMZN) and the publishing giant Macmillan the e-book industry is faced with a series of serious questions. Whether Amazon will be approached by other publishers-the top 6 at least (like Macmillan) to raise the price of e-books sold trough Kindle to $14.99? If so what happens to the users (Something for users to think)

Amazon currently offers e-books(for new releases and bestsellers) at $9.99  in a move that is aimed at driving Kindle sales and increasing demand for digital books. But since this pricing policy of Amazon might land up hurting sales from bestsellers and higher priced hard covers for some of the publishers Macmillan has asked Amazon to sell their books for $12.99-$14.99.  Although Amazon did pull Macmillan titles to protest Macmillan’s pricing plan, they were eventually being forced to give in.

The ultimate result being that Macmillan gets to keep their profit margins. Macmillan’s Sargent said that “in the future Macmillan would set the prices for e-books and retailers such as Amazon would take a 30 percent commission — the same deal Apple has entered into with Macmillan and other major publishers”.

In its statement, Amazon said “Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it’s reasonable to pay 14.99 dollars for a bestselling e-book” and that they do not expect other publishers to follow the same policy as Macmillan.

Paul Aiken, executive director of the Author’s Guild, disagreed to Amazon’s beliefs over the pricing war and said he does expect other publishers to follow Macmillan’s path.

Aiken told “It’s hard to imagine that there’s a responsible publisher out there with adequate clout that won’t be following suit,”. “There are at least five other publishers who can get this deal from Amazon.”

Aiken also brought another interesting blend to the entire price was debate. He says that Macmillan’s pricing model will, for the time being, actually mean more money for Amazon and less for publishers.

Why So? How about this…..In the existing model, Amazon is paying the publisher half the book’s list price and then sells the e-version in the Kindle store for $9.99. But this model does result into a loss for Amazon for books (bestsellers) priced over $20.

“Taking into account a 30-percent commission to Amazon and e-book prices of between 12.99 dollars and 14.99 dollars, Macmillan’s pricing plan would result in even less money for publishers in the short term, Aiken noted”.

“But Sargent is definitely playing a long game here,” he said. “Everyone knew that Amazon wasn’t going to sell books at a loss forever. They’ve been willing to lose money on e-books to sell Kindles and to lock in a customer base,” Aiken said. “That game was going to end at some point. And when it ended was up to Amazon”.

Aiken also said “Once Amazon decided that it had captured enough market share, that it had control of the industry then it could dictate terms to publishers,”. “At some point we all knew the squeeze was coming.”

Amazon shares dropped close to 6 percent on Wall Street on Monday – closed at 118.87 dollars.

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Filed under Amazon Kindle, Book Retailers, Publishers & Authors, Publishing Industry Data

Publishers Trend contact sheet 2010

Great source of contact information of whos-who of publishing industry. Here

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Filed under Ebook Readers, Publishing Industry Data, Uncategorized