In January 2011, Amazon published statistics that signalled a dramatic shift for the book publishing industry. The website announced that eBooks (digital books) had outsold paperbacks on their website in the final quarter of 2010. This astounding shift in book purchasing habits has served to highlight just how eBook sales have grown in 2010. According to Forrester, global eBook sales rose 400% in 2010, resulting in almost $1 billion in revenue.
The 2010 eBook sales boom occurred for a whole host of reasons (anyone have an iPad in 2009?), but perhaps the most interesting factor in the markets growth over the past year is found in the habits of the eBook readers themselves.
In November 2010, Forrester identified that 7% of online adults read eBooks – a similar figure to the 8% of UK adults who have paid to read an eBook. These figures hardly reflect Amazon’s amazing announcement, however, a closer examination of this group of readers is far more illuminating.
On average, eBook readers who own an iPad or other dedicated eReader, read 66% of their books digitally, indicating that once people get the hang of using these gadgets, they quickly shift their reading method of choice. These readers get through an impressive amount of books as well. The eBook consumer has purchased on average 5.9 books since December 25th and the end of January. This is clearly a dedicated base of users! What they might currently lack in comparative stature to the wider market, they evidently make up for in their reading habits and book consumption.
This issue of how many people are reading eBooks should be considered within the context of the relative newness of the format itself. The people in the know, like Forrester Research, are convinced that use of these publications is set to grow over the course of the decade, and grow quickly. They forecast that $3 Billion will be created by ebook sales, as a result of more eBook readers reading more books digitally.
All the signs clearly point to the eBook becoming a dominant force in the publishing world. Its current flock of users appears set to grow hugely in the coming years, with more reading devices and more books being sold in the process. Amazons announcement, coupled with the astonishing news that 88% of O’Reilly’s book sales were eBooks in 2010, suggest that the publishing industry is undergoing a major transition, and that these figures will not be the last of their kind!
YUDU have just launched an Illustrated EPUB conversion service for book publishers in order to help them take advantage of this rapidly growing market. For more information, read the full launch press release here.