Thursday, November 15, 2012

Who Really Controls The Book Market?

According to a recent report issued by Bowker Market Research as reported by Publishers Weekly, 57% of books sold did not come by way of Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Warehouse clubs, Wal-Mart, Target, book clubs and a host of other outlets contribute to the book sale mosaic.  Independent bookstores take 6% of the market.  Christian bookstores sell 2% of all books sold.  Supermarkets and grocery stores account for 1% of the market.

The only significant sales changes from a year ago comes with two areas.  Amazon increased its share of the market from 20% to 27% and the broad category of “all other channels” dropped from 21% to 13% of the market.

Additionally, ebooks now make up 22% of all book sale revenue.  A year ago it was 21% so it looks like they have stalled.  Mass market paperbacks, over the last year, declined significantly, from 15% to 12% of sales revenue.

Perhaps the book market is more diverse than we realize.  But regardless of who sells a book and in what format, the industry appears to be diverse and strong.

On the other hand, if the future of the book industry rests in e-books, Amazon owns the market.  Its Kindle collection is responsible for 55% of all e-book downloads.  The Nook is a distant third at 14%.  Apple’s iPad (12%), iPhone (3%) and ipod (2%) own 17% of the ebook market.  6% of ebooks are read on desktops or laptops.  Sony ebook Reader only accounts for 1% of the market. Other smartphones collectively make up 3% of ebook sales.  All other devices combined makeup 4% of the market, including Google Nexus, Galaxy Tab, Kobo Arc, and Microsoft Surface RT.

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 He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

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