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During the Summer of 2010, Forrester Research surveyed 4,000 U.S. adults about their reading. From this survey, James L. McQuivey wrote a report called US eBook Forecast, 2010 to 2015. Since McQuivey’s report costs $500, I could not afford to read it. So, the following information comes from his online articles and an interview about this report.
- 7% of adults read eBooks.
- Another 8% of adults claimed they would probably start reading eBooks by the middle to end of 2011.
- ½ of eBook readers do not own eReaders. They read eBooks on laptops, smartphones, etc. These people read 40% of their books as eBooks.
- The ½ of eBook readers owning eReaders read 66% of their books as eBooks. - http://tinyurl.com/3y6keub
- “What you need to understand, though, is of readers, [eBook readers] are the crème de [la] crème. They spend the most, they read the most, they are the most interested in best sellers, in literary works, in what’s winning the latest literary prizes. These people are the people that you want to have coming in and out of your bookstore. And if they’re not coming in and out of your bookstore anymore because they are reading so much digitally, they inadvertently cause a dramatic shift in the business.” -http://tinyurl.com/6dq2obu
- My chart shows AAP's estimated net sales from 2002 to 2009 for a variety of print media, audiobooks and, on the bottom, eBooks. During these years, eBook net sales grew at an median rate of 80% a year. This growth just starts being noticeable in 2006 and 2007. McQuivey predicts “eBook buying is about to spiral upward” to $2.8 billion by 2015. $2.8 billion is the peak sales year for hardbacks in 2007. In other words, in 4 years, eBook sales will equal to hardback sales.
- This “dramatic shift in the business” means a change in the economics of publishing, not just a change in formats. Based on his observations of the digitalization of music, movies and newspapers, James McQuivey makes the following predictions.
- Eventually, publishers will decide their eBook marketing strategy first. Their print book marketing strategy will be secondary.
- So, for example, many, many books will be published as eBooks only. If eBooks sales are good, print versions may be published.
- Authors will get smaller royalties for print books. Amazon.com is now offering Kindle authors royalties 70% of the retail price and paid monthly, not annually.
- These changes will reduce the number of print books available both wholesale and the amount of retail shelf space devoted to print books.
- Award-winning science fiction writer CJ Cherryh and two colleagues have noticed changes in the publishing world over the past 20 years that limit the distribution and availability of their work. They are trying to expand the distribution and availability of their work by publishing eBooks distributed from their Web site, Closed Circle. (http://tinyurl.com/ykucbmz)
- Thriller writer Joe Konrath claims self-publishing eBooks provides the greatest income. His six print books earned good money the first year, but earned less each succeeding year. His seven eBooks, however, increase earnings each year. (http://tinyurl.com/2ejbko3) eBook publishers want to sell his eBooks for $5.99. Though he earns more money per book, Konrath earns the most money selling eBooks for $2.99 because he sells many more eBooks. (http://tinyurl.com/2dgf5pl)