11 November 2009
A Supply Chain Perspective on ebooks
For the last five years or so, I've attended the International Supply Chain Meeting at the Frankfurt Book Fair. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation from Peter Kilborn (BIC: Book Industry Communication) on "The Limits of Technology".
Here's just some of the highlights:
"E-book readers will be introduced in the UK later this year, and have already proved popular with American users. From the Barnes & Noble web site, user comments include: ‘I don’t know how I got along without it’, ‘I will never go back to paper again; the future has arrived and it’s great.’"
(The Bookseller, June 2000)
"Simon & Schuster US has unveiled its first ebooks list. It is the latest in a tide of publishers to enter the US e-book market, which is believed to be on the point of explosion"
(The Bookseller, December 2000)
Yes those dates are not a misprint. He was speaking about how slow the industry is to react and how we respond to change overall. We all know e-books are getting A LOT of coverage, but let's try and keep a few things in perspective.
Kelly Gallagher from Bowker also did an interesting presentation on e-book sales. I'm assuming his figures were for the US but in 2008 e-books accounted for 1.5% of all book sales. In the first half of 2009, this went up to 2.2%. Another interesting stat was that for buyers over 50 years of age, e-books are growing at 183%. Sony e-book readers have an average age of 49.8, Kindle 48.9, PDAs 28.0 and the iPhone 37.9. Device presentation was also interesting - 40% were pure downloads to computer. 26.8% were via the Kindle, 13% from iPhone, 6.4% from the Sony e-reader. So beyond computer downloads, Kindle has the market share.
Thought the feedback from the meeting would enhance this blog and will continue to monitor industry alerts for interesting stats and quotes about this growing - and fascinating - market segment.