Five-Year Prediction: $552 Million in E-book Sales Growth
According to Albert Greco of the Institute for Publishing Research (as reported by WSJ.com) sales of print titles will drop from $18 billion in 2008 to $13.9 billion in 2015, not including book clubs, book fairs and catalog mail orders. His projections show that e-book sales should increase to $3.6 billion by 2015 from $78 million in 2008.
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Number of romance readers who have purchased an e-book in the last year, according to Ebury Publishing's editorial director Gillian Green (citing industry and Random House research), as printed in U.K.'s Guardian. Britain's Ebury, a subsidiary of Random House, is launching a genre-specific e-book imprint, Rouge Romance (rougeromance.co.uk)—which debuted in September with eight titles—to capitalize on this trend. Conventional wisdom posits that among the reasons romance and erotic categories (sales of which are also, ahem, surging) are a good fit for e-readers are privacy issues, i.e., no more getting caught on the subway reading a bawdily dressed bodice-ripper.
The difference in price between Amazon's Kindle Fire ($199) and Kobo's WiFi Vox Tablet ($199.99). Both 7-inch color tablets are positioning themselves as Davids to Apple's iPad2 Goliath, which weighs in at $499 and up. (Barnes & Noble's brand new Nook Tablet enters the fray at $249, while its Nook Color has dropped to $199.) Needless to say, the companies' positions relative to each other, once the dust settles following the holiday gadget-feeding frenzy, will make for some fascinating Monday-morning quarterbacking. It certainly seems that device makers are going all in …
Cost of a one-year membership to Amazon Prime, the e-tailer's membership program, which has given subscribers access to free two-day shipping and streaming movies and TV shows. Now, Prime members who own any Kindle device will have access to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library—a program Amazon announced in early November (just ahead of the holiday rush)—that will allow them to borrow from thousands of titles, including some current and former New York Times bestsellers, on a one-at-a-time, no-due-date basis. Sounds like Netflix for books to us.