A few years ago, when I was reading several annual SEC reports from the soon-to-be defunct Borders Group, I came across a sentence that not only defined the dysfunction of one retailer, but the dangerous mindset that has been crippling the book industry for decades.
Dan Strempel of Simba Information has kindly made available to me Simba's recent report on the market for social sciences and humanities (SSH) publications, Global Social Science & Humanities Publishing 2013-2014. There are not many encouraging signs in this study for publishers, but it's worthwhile to review the numbers and the structure of the market, some of which may be surprising to many readers.
Simba estimates the global market for SSH materials in all languages at $5.2 billion, a figure that is a fraction (perhaps one-quarter) of the STM market worldwide.
Although it's too early to say if book consumers have come out in force this holiday season, and my personal situations no clear indicator, we can take a look at recent purchasing trends to see if publishers and booksellers will have something to celebrate this holiday season.
Simba Information, a media and market research firm which created The iPad and Its Owner, Trade Electronic Book Publishing and other intelligence products, has released a new report: The Rise and Impact of Self Publishing, which details the journey self publishing has taken over the last few years-and shows compelling data on who is actually buying self published books and in what format.
According to Simba Information's The iPad and Its Owner 2014, only half of iPad owners read ebooks on their devices. Tablet users are not necessarily ebook readers.
Stamford, CT, October 16, 2013 - Simba Information, a media and market research firm behindThe Amazon Kindle Report 2013, The iPad and Its Owner and other intelligence tools, has released the eighth edition of Children's Publishing Market Forecast, which has increased its coverage of activity in the children's/YA book market to educational apps to be used by children.
"Research is about a long, hard slog of building an understanding about how all the different parts of a business or a market works. It's about being willing to look at numbers that scare the hell out of you."
We are learning, we are adapting, but book publishers need to envision the industry beyond popular technology over which they have little influence. These will not save the book.
More and more publishers are directing their ebook efforts towards tablet users. Last year's BISG Consumer Attitude Toward Ebook Reading survey bolstered the movement with results indicating that ebook consumers (44%) prefer tablet devices as opposed to dedicated ereaders (42%). In fact ereader preference dropped 7% last year, which suggests a trend that will continue to bolster tablet popularity.
Stamford, CT, July 16, 2013 — Simba Information, the market research firm specializing in publishing and media, has released a sister publication to the most recent edition of the prophetic Trade E-Book Publishing report series: The Amazon Kindle Report 2013. By drawing upon exclusive, nationally representative data, Simba has estimated about three out of four Kindle Fire owners use e-books, which makes owners of that tablet more engaged with digital book content than iPad owners as Simba has consistently found that about half of all iPad owners aren’t e-book users.