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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Surprise: Book Market Increases As Amazon, Barnes & Noble Own 50% Of Book Market


It may seem like news that (a) Amazon does not own the majority of the book market, or that (b) Amazon plus Barnes and Noble only equal half the book market.

This means that many other small pieces -- together -- are as important as the biggest retail outlets.

Amazon (29%) and Barnes and Noble (21%) are the big boys, but 12% of all book sales (in dollars) come from e-commerce sites that aren’t Amazon.

Other chunks of the market include Books-A-Million (2%), independent bookstores (5%), Walmart (3%), Target (2%), book clubs (4%) and a host of others, including gift shops, churches, universities, etc.

Market share by format shows a few surprises.

First, trade paperback sales are up, as a percentage of sales by format, now at 34%. Hardcovers dropped almost 8% from a year ago, to 34%. Audio got cut in half, down to 1% and e-books were up about 8%, to 14% of all dollar sales. Mass market paperback stabilized, accounting for 6% of the market. But the biggest surprise growth area is the “all other” miscellaneous format, which accounts for 11% -- or 1 out of every $9 spent on books.

All of these numbers show how diverse the book market is, in terms of a variety of retail sales channels and publishing formats. Further, there’s a wide variety of content available for consumption by a global readership that is the most diverse it has ever been.

While Amazon and Barnes and Noble still carve up a market dominated by five large publishers and millions of self-published authors, the industry looks to be diversifying and growing.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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