Yesterday I happened across the Digital Book World hashtag (#DBW13) on Twitter. Digital Book World is a publishing conference that focusses on, well, digital books, as well as other emerging technologies. I compiled some of the tidbits I gleaned on my Facebook page, but wanted to share here. I also found a few links that wrap up the info presented at DBW, which I’ve posted below.

Here’s what I learned:

•20% of Americans buy 80% of books.

•Amazon accounts for 25% of all book sales, and 30% of all money spent on books.

•2 out of 3 book buyers own a digital reader, should hit 3 of 4 by year end, says Codex study.

•From June 2010-Sept 2012, ebook sales rose from 5% of total book sales to 23%. Largest erosion in hardcover and mass market.

•40% of fiction purchases were ‘digital in the second half of 2012.

•Format seeing biggest decline? Mass market paperbacks.

•In Sept 2012 35% of ebooks purchased were romance.

•Average ebook buyer: female, aged 30-44, likely to live in urban area.

•Women are about 5% more likely to discover books through personal recommendation.

•Ebook sales market share shift by device from 2011 to 2012: Kindle 44% to 39%; iPad 10% to 15%.

•From the Writers Digest survey: 2/3 of of authors have FB pages, 54% tweet, 69% blog

•59% of new books are discovered on Facebook.

•How readers discover books: Google, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Goodreads, author sites: discovery hierarchy in that order.

•Also from the same survey: Annual income for self published: $8K v traditional and self published $38K

•”Hybrid authors” are authors who are both traditionally pubbed and self-pubbed. Most say they’d self pub again.

•From agent Steven Axelrod: “Author success is now measured with metrics like Goodreads rankings and number of hits on Wattpad”.

•On the Random/Penguin merger: Agent Simon Lipskar says he’d be “shocked…disappointed if [RH/Penguin] merger did not lead to a serious entry into book retail” including physical.

•Readers are more influenced by reader reviews than professional reviewers now. — Allison Underwood, Open Road Media.

•From the head of Kobo, Michael Tamblyn, Kobo is concentrating on non-US markets. And they’ve partnered with independent bookstores, who are providing personal experiences to readers who then buy digitally.

•Also, Kobo readers (who frequent indie bookstores) are more likely to pay more per book. Also buy more non-fiction, literary, juvenile lit.

•But Kobo has not seen as many sales for “active romance”. (“Active romance” is apparently the new term for “erotica.”)

•From Tamblyn: highest concentration of US ebook buyers buy books in $2.99-$4.99 and $9.99-$11.99 range

•When Borders closed, their customers went to Amazon.

Links to other wrap-ups:

Insights from Barnes & Noble on the Ebook Market

The Book Consumer in 2012 (from Bowker)

A wrap-up from Publisher’s Weekly 

Looking back and looking forward: A live blog

Three Key Ideas from DBW

An interesting tidbit about author Hugh Howey. 

4 Comments on Market news from Digital Book World

  1. Darynda Jones
    January 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm (12 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing this, Kathy!!! GREAT info!

    • Kathryn Barrett
      January 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm (12 years ago)

      Thanks for sharing, Darynda! Glad you found it helpful.

  2. Samantha Ann King
    January 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm (12 years ago)

    Really interesting. It’s true. After Borders closed, I went to Amazon. But “Active Romance”? Really?

    • Kathryn Barrett
      January 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm (12 years ago)

      Yeah, that one got a lot of comments when it was posted on Twitter. He never exactly said it was erotica, but that’s what everyone assumed it was.


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