News & Trends: eBooks ... By the Numbers
Kindle Books Catching
Up With Print Books?
Amazon.com Inc. announced at the end of 2009 that its Kindle e-reader had become the most gifted item in Amazon's history. On its peak day of the holiday season (Dec. 14, 2009), Amazon customers ordered more than 9.5 million items worldwide—a record-breaking 110 items per second—according to an Amazon press release.
Amazon also reported that on the same day, Amazon's worldwide fulfillment network shipped more than 7 million Kindle units.
On Christmas Day, for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books (attributed to gift recipients opening their Kindles and ordering e-books).
"Millions of people now own Kindles," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "And Kindle owners read a lot. When we have both editions, we sell six Kindle books for every 10 physical books. This is year-to-date and includes only paid books—free Kindle books would make the number even higher."
Amazon.com recently announced a 70-percent royalty option for authors and publishers on its Kindle Digital Text Platform. Beginning June 30, authors and publishers who select the new royalty option will receive 70 percent of list price, net of delivery costs.
The Most Expensive E-book
The most expensive e-book retails for $6,232, according to The Most Expensive Journal (Most-Expensive.net). The e-book, "Nuclear Energy," which includes three volumes of "Energy Technologies," is sold on Amazon.com.
What's In Store …
Amazon: The Kindle Store includes more than 410,000 books, including 100 of 112 New York Times best-sellers, according to a company press release.
Sony: Sony's e-readers offer users access to more than 1 million e-books through Sony's Reader Store, according to the company's Web site.
B&N: More than 1 million titles are available for the Nook through Barnes & Nobles' eBookstore, according to BN.com.
Consumers and Their Preferences
- Cheaper Is Better
The No. 1 reason the majority of print book buyers would forgo print for an e-book of the same title is affordability, according to the Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey conducted by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG).
- Worth Waiting For?
Almost a third of print book buyers said they would wait up to three months to buy the e-edition of their favorite auth- or's book, according to BISG's data.
- DRM: Do You Mind?
The survey found that 28 percent of respondents said they would "definitely" buy an e-book with digital rights management (DRM); more men than women said they wouldn't.
*Note: The study surveyed "data from hundreds of print book buyers who also identify as e-book readers," according to BISG; it did not survey separate groups of print readers and e-book readers.