Industry's Most Comprehensive Report calls 2010 a 'Perfect Storm' of Challenges to U.S. Book Market
(Press Release) New Providence, N.J. - July 6, 2011— A weakened economy, declining numbers of book buyers, fewer physical bookstores and the acceleration of e-books combined to make 2010 one of the most challenging ever for the U.S. book industry. The challenges and the bright spots in this dynamic industry are presented and explored in the 2010-11 U.S. Book Consumer Demographics and Buying Behaviors Annual Review, the publishing industry's only complete consumer-based report integrating channel, motivation and category analysis of U.S. book buyers. The report, which has become an information staple, is prepared by Bowker's PubTrackTMConsumer and industry trade magazine Publishers Weekly.
"The year 2010 saw a perfect storm of challenges to the U.S. book market, as a number of inter-related trends continued to impact the market," said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publishing services for Bowker. "Now more than ever, this report's data about the American book consumer can help publishers, retailers and others navigate these challenging times by arming them with information."
The 2010-11 Annual Review identifies how the economy and shifting industry dynamics combined to significantly alter the way consumers bought books in 2010. Among the most profound impacts: For the first time ever, online retailers accounted for more units purchased and spending on books than the national bookstore chains, making e-commerce the single largest book-buying channel.
"When all bookstores are combined, bookstores still comprised the largest source of book purchases, but that is sure to change in 2011 as the number of bricks-and-mortar stores declines and spending through such outlets as Amazon and BN.com increases," said Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly editor and contributor to the Annual Review. "It is quite possible that we'll see a decline in the number of large bookselling enterprises by the end of 2011, a development that will hasten the shift to more online book buying."