2013 BISG Reports E-book Growth

October 31, 2013
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E-book growth has slowed and currently comprises about 30% of books sold, according to the new BISG report, Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, powered by Nielsen Book Research. The report, now in its fourth and final year, reveals an emerging consensus around e-books and maturing consumption patterns, with important implications for trade publishers and content creators and distributors

New findings in the final report of Volume Four of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading include:
–          Consumers are very interested in “bundling” print and digital versions of a book, with 48% of survey respondents willing to pay more for bundles.
–          Just over half of survey respondents would pay more for an e-book if it could be given away or re-sold.
–          Consumers do not distinguish between e-books published by traditional houses and independently published options when making buying decisions.
–          While the numbers are relatively small, there is an increase in the number of people who buy print and digital versions interchangeably with a slow decline in the number of people who exclusively buy e-books.

Consumer Attitudes explores the many reasons for this and analyzes the implications for future print and physical book purchase trends. It delves into the categories and genres most and least preferred in e-book format; pricing factors; how consumers learn about new books and where they buy them; the impact of trends in device purchasing on publishing and retailing; and how readers interact with content on mobile devices, and the device enhancements they most frequently request.

Len Vlahos, BISG Executive Director, said “Four years of consumer data shows clearly that e-book consumption has reached mainstream readers and has expanded well beyond early adopter ‘power buyers,’ but that physical books remain a popular format for many consumers, especially in certain categories. This survey provides actionable information for companies across the industry to stay ahead of these trends.”

Jo Henry, Director of Nielsen Book Research, commented: “It is clear from four annual research surveys that e-books are in the later stages of the innovation curve and have settled into reasonably predictable consumption patterns. The likelihood of future growth will, in part, depend on improving the value perception of e-books among less committed users.”

For more information and analysis of annual net unit and dollar sales by category and format including e-books for the full US publishing industry from 2008 through 2012, please refer to BookStats, the Joint Venture between the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), by clicking here.

About the Book Industry Study Group, Inc.


The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the book industry’s leading trade association for policy, standards, and research. The mission of BISG is to facilitate innovation and shared solutions for the benefit of all companies and practitioners who create, produce, and distribute published content, and the organizations that support them. Membership consists of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. For over 35 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Learn more about BISG at www.bisg.org.

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