Tag Archives: Google Editions

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

Another Author bows to ebook trend – John Grisham

John Grisham, one of the best known thriller author across the globe has finally decided to open up all his backlist of 23 novels in ebook format. Which means that owners of Kindle, Nook, Sony ereader and soon iPad will be able to read all his backlists on their device.

Is this just a small change in the direction of authors working directly working with ebook retailers like (Amazon, Apple, Google , B&N) to launch their books 🙂 My bets are that this is bound to happen in few Genre (Thriller, Romance), where the form factor of ebook readers and laptop give the end users a fine reading experience.

I personally believe that the true inflection point for the ebook industry would come the day J K Rowling decides to make her books available as ebooks 🙂

I have decided to create a list of Authors that decide to go the ebook way.

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Filed under Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad, Book Retailers, Ebook Readers, Ebooks, Nook, Publishers & Authors

Ebook Pricing War Between Apple and Amazon – Who Will Win Publishers or Amazon

As we all know book publishing industry is going through one of the biggest industry defining change in last 100+ years. When the industry seemed all ready to go ahead with the ebooks (with Amazon successfully launching and selling kindle and kindle books) Apple decide to disrupt the party with its announcement of launch of iBook Store through iPad and by signing Agency model (a pricing mode were publishers decide at what price they want to sell their books to the end users contrary to the normal distribution deal that publishers had with Amazon where publishers sell these books to Amzon at normal discount on list price and Amazon can sell it to publisher at whatever price) deal with Top 5 publishers (all the top except Random House)

The ebook pricing model is going through an interesting time with Apple trying to talk to publisher (both small and big) to go for agency model (which means 70% for publisher & 30%  for retailer split) and get an assurance that they will not sell the same book at a lower price through any other retailer (read Amazon). Amazon on the other hand has made it clear that it is not going to sign Agency model deal with any one except the Top 5 Apple publishers. This has left Publishers in a dilemma.If they go for Agency model with Apple they will not be able to sell through Amazon because Apple deal will not allow them to sell the same ebook at a lower price anywhere else and if they do not sell through Apple then they are increasing the power of Amazon even more.

The solution to this stalemate is

1. Apple becomes more flexible and decides to have a mix of both Agency and normal wholesale model (offer similar revenue split for agency and normal wholesale model i.e. 70%/30%)

2. or Amazon is fine with Publishers doing Agency agreement for ebooks sales.

Next few months are going to be really interesting as Amazon will try its best to use its clout in print books to arm twist mid and small publishers in staying away from Agency model and Apple will try its best to make its ebook offering best by having as many publishers in the program as possible. The third big player in this game is Google. It will interesting to see which way will Google go with its Google Editions offering.

Lets wait and watch and enjoy the game. My bets are on Amazon 🙂

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Filed under Book Retailers, Ebook Readers, Ebooks, Publishers & Authors

Why Should I Buy An Apple iPad

I am sure many others are debating whether or not to buy an Apple Ipad (Apple is already taking pre-orders for April delivery). There are many features that we would have loved to have in the Apple Ipad but i still think there are several which can make this a good buy.

1. Pretty Robust ebook platform:

Ipad probably is the best and most robust option that you have for an ebook reader (others – Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, Sony ebook reader etc). There can be three sources from which you can buy and read ebooks

a. Directly from IBook Store using IBook App : I am sure Apple biz dev folks are talking to all the top pubishers to include them in the book store

b. Using Other Apps (KIndle, Nook etc) : If a book is not available on Ibook you can download a Kindle or Nook App to buy the books

c. Access Books from cloud (Google Editions): There is a very high probability that many international books are not available through IBook, Kindle or Nook. Google has done a great job of working with thousands of publishers/libraries across the globe to make these books accessible to users (through Google Book Search program). I am sure Google will be talking to these publishers to include these books in Google Editions (Google’s cloud based ebook platform)

d. Read freely available ebooks (epub format): Apple Ibook app will allow you to upload any epub fomat ebook that you might have (many free ebook services like project Gutenberg provide book in epub format)

I dont belive any other Ebook device can provide you with such a robust solution. However, It will be intersting to check out other factors:

i. Size/Weight of the device: The device definitely is bigger than Kindle. Which might be good for a better Newpaper/magazine reading experience.

ii. Battery backup : The color screen will definitely use more battery as compared to Kindle so more frequent charging of your Ipad

iii. Reading experience: Apple Ipad will not use e-Ink format that Nook and Kindle use. E-Ink based devices are supposed to provide readers a better and more comfortable reading experience. Reading in sunlight might be problematic too.

It seems Apple will not support Flash. There are many rich media sites (Hulu etc.) that use flash. However, I believe that these companies anyway will have Iphone App.

2. Form factor:

Apple Ipad has a huge form factor advantage. This huge screen would be great for viewing TV episodes and movies on the device.  There are already various apps available on iphone App store to view your favorite TV shows on the move.

3. Access to thousands of Apps through Itunes:

Since the device can connect to internet and will have itune store available on the device there will not be any hassle of synching the device to your PC/Laptop. And you all of a sudden have access to thousands of Apps available through App store.

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Filed under Ebook Readers, Ebooks, Uncategorized