eBook Sales Plateauing: BookNet Canada Reports

This is a rather deceptively titled article—it implies that eBook sales are leveling off, simply due to a dip in percentage sales during the fourth quarter of 2012… but then specifically mentions that the source, BookNet Canada, suggests that book sales are strongly linked to gift-giving. Well, duh… isn’t that a ground-shaker? 😛

Read the article at timescolonist.com.

 

Amazon Fights to Keep Secrets in eBook Trial

In regard to the Apple price-fixing trial, Amazon is seeking to have sensitive information—including “potentially embarrassing” data related to profitability, pricing, and contract terms—redacted from evidence. This is rather interesting, as Amazon has never disclosed this information to the public before, so we are all kept in the dark regarding its actual profitability and market share. I’m split on whether I think they should be able to keep the information private—I really want to know, but they’re a private company, and as a business owner, I don’t think it’s really anyone’s business but their own.

Read more about it at publishersweekly.com.

 

eBooks Raise Issues for Libraries

This article by the Kearney, Nebraska, Public Library directory explains why libraries may not be able to offer the latest eBooks, and why their selections may be limited.

The highlights:

  • Random House marks up eBooks 300% for libraries.
  • Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette (three of the publishers involved in the dispute with Amazon) won’t sell to libraries at all.
  • HarperCollins only allows 26 checkouts per book before requiring the library to purchase another—as if the book had worn out.* The library consortium voted to boycott them.
  • Penguin is being childish over their dispute with Amazon and won’t allow any new books to be sold through Overdrive, the company that handles eBooks for many public libraries. Penguin has a separate deal with Queens Public Library.

* I’ve read several studies, both formal and informal, which indicate that the average library book lasts significantly longer than 26 checkouts. Two librarians created an amusing YouTube video showing the condition of several HarperCollins books checked out from 25 to more than 100 times.

Read more at columbustelegram.com.

eBook Anti-Trust Settlement is Approved (with 3 publishers)

U.S. federal courts have approved a settlement Hachette Books Group, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins, that booksellers may set their own pricing and that publishers may not sign contracts with retailers during the next two years which restrict pricing decisions. They also may not enter into contracts (for five years) which give specific sellers a guaranteed lower price than others.

Two more publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, refused to settle and have a court date in June. I wonder how much extra profit they and Apple will make during that time.

Read more at cnn.com.

Kindle eBook Sales [in the UK] Have Overtaken Amazon Print Sales, Says Bookseller

Kindle ebook sales [in the UK] have overtaken Amazon print sales, says book seller [External Link]

5 August 2012

Amazon.com announced that their customers in the United Kingdom are buying 114 eBooks for every 100 print books sold on their site. This is probably attributed to the lower cost of many eBooks, though Amazon claimed that many print books that were sold were also inexpensive. There was no data indicating whether the eBooks that were sold were independently published or not, nor any information specifically indicating the price range of the eBooks sold as compared to print books.

Read more at guardian.co.uk.

eBooks: Winners in the Generation Game

This article discusses the growth of eBook sales among the older demographic, citing a poll which indicated that individuals over 55 were more likely to own an eReader than people aged 18-24. What really makes this article worth of mention is this winner-of-a-quote on the true benefit of eReaders: “Now, not only can you read filthy books without anyone noticing, you can read filthy books in an 18-point font.”

Read more at guardian.co.uk.