Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Industry Publishing Trends

E-book Reading Increases -- But Prices Do Not Follow

Bowker Market Research recently released insightful data about book purchasing habits and preferences. Below are some interesting factoids that help paint a portrait of where publishing is heading:

Market Share By Format
·         Trade paperbacks…...31%
·         Hardcover books…...25%
·         E-books………….....23%
·         Mass market books…12%
·         Audiobooks…………2%
·         “Other formats”……..7%

However, just three years ago, e-books only accounted for 2% of all book sales. Hardcover and trade paper each had a third of the market, at 35% a piece.

E-Book Prices Falling
Three years ago, e-books sold for a little over $10 a piece. Today they are under six bucks a book. As a genre, romance books are the cheapest, averaging a sales price under four dollars each. Compared to three years ago, the gap between the price of fiction and non-fiction has shrunk greatly. The price of print books over that span of three years has risen slightly, to $12.40 per book.

Profile Of Book Buyers
·         32% are married with children
·         60% are female
·         29% of ebooks are bought by people under 30
·         22% of books are bought on impulse

Youth & E-Books
Scholastic Books just releases its biannual survey, Kids & Family Reading Report, and the results show:

46% of children ages 6-17 have read e-books
Two years ago that number was 25%

34% of children said they read books for fun
Two years ago the number was 37%

58% of 9-17 year-olds said they will continue to read print books
66% felt this was just two years ago

So what does all of this mean? The shift from print to digital is ongoing. So is a decline in book prices. I believe there will reach a tipping point where ebook prices will bottom out and will begin to rise, but before that happens you may see some print pricing decline.

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 2013 ©

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