Round up #290: bargain bestsellers, e-book marketshare
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
E-book marketshare of spending rises 25% in 2014
According to this
reporting on a Nielsen Books & Consumers survey, new book spending on e-books in the USA rose to 15% of the total in 2014, as opposed to 12% in 2013…a 25% gain.
That’s right…only fifteen percent.
A bit of a shock, perhaps…and remember, they are zero percent of used book sales, although Amazon has looked into that possibility, as I’ve reported before
While that 15% is based on spending, not surprising, the number of units is higher. The units are how many books are sold/licensed, versus how much is paid for them. Since, on balance, p-books (paperbooks) cost more than e-books, we would expect their unit share to be higher than their spending share.
Interestingly, though, that share is still only 21%.
Let’s see…21 is forty percent higher than 15, so that could be about right.
There are a lot of very important trends (well, data points…we don’t know if they are really trends yet)…I don’t want to take too much away from the article, so I’m going to recommend you read it.
I’ll just point out a couple of things, and then let you read the details:
- Online bookselling may be losing marketshare
- Bookstore chain marketshare is way down
- EBR (E-Book Readership) was down…both for the NOOK and the Kindle
Amazon’s change in Cloud Drive plans…how it helps you
I have to say, Amazon does not do a great job of explaining things to people when they introduce a new feature, service, or device.
Part of it is most people’s natural skepticism (I have a genetic abnormality…I’m an optimist). ;) They naturally expect that any change is going to be for the bad.
I’ve taught change management before, and this is the biggest tip I can give you there.
Whenever you announce a change, always tell them what is not changing first.
For example, if you restructure your company, your employees will be so concerned that their jobs are going to be eliminated that they won’t hear anything else you say until you address that.
So, you start out with something like, “First, let me assure you: no one here is having their job eliminated, and no one is getting a pay cut. You will continue to do the same work you’ve been doing, which we really value. What’s happening is that management is changing, and some of you may have a different boss…”
In this case, Amazon could have led (on the page, not necessarily in the press release…maybe in an e-mail) with “We have some exciting new plans available for the Amazon Cloud Drive. This will not affect the free storage customers already get for their Amazon purchases, and will actually increase the storage they get when using Amazon’s Personal Documents service…at no additional cost. New options include…”
That’s right. I’ve seen many threads in the
where people were concerned that either Amazon was going to start charging them for storing their Kindle store purchases, or charge them for any amount of personal documents they are storing using the Personal Documents service.
I have confirmed with Amazon: neither of those are true.
This is what I asked Amazon about, which was confirmed:
Under the new system:
Non-Prime member/non-Fire owner without a plan:
Unlimited Kindle Personal Docs. They do not count towards a storage limit, because they count for zero.
No other free non-Kindle Personal Doc storage (they used to have some).
Prime member/Fire owner without upgrading:
Unlimited photo storage
Unlimited Kindle Personal Docs storage
5GB of storage for other things, like spreadsheets and presentations
Note that there is a group that has a loss from this change. If someone is not a Prime member and does not have a Fire, they no longer have free storage for things like spreadsheets.
However, the plus that everybody got is no limit on storage of personal documents.
Meanwhile, in the UK
In the first article, I was talking about the USA.
Well, we also have statistics for the UK…and e-books are doing much better there!
According to this
e-book sales are 30% of units in the UK, more than a third higher than in the USA.
Not only that, more money was spent online on books (not just e-books) than in stores…for the first time.
The thrust of the article was concern expressed about Amazon’s dominance (particularly by Tim Walker, President of the Booksellers Association.
According to Walker, Amazon has 95% of e-book sales in the UK…and that is “damaging”.
I didn’t see particular evidence that it was…what was cited were problems that other people were having with e-book sales, but that doesn’t mean cause and effect.
Still, I leave it to you to read the article and decide…
Amazon’s Editors’ Picks…find bargains, but not indies
One of the “aisles” Amazon has is called
I haven’t looked at it much.
The first thing that struck me was that every book I saw on the front page was from a traditional publisher.
When I’m looking for discovery for books, I’m not looking for the ones which are featured in People Magazine…I want an editor to tell me about something that’s new to me.
That was a bit of a negative.
Then, I was going to do a price analysis to compare them to the overall Kindle store bestsellers…and noticed that some of them are on really good sales!
If you were looking for a gift for somebody who maybe didn’t read 100 books a year, this might be a good place to find a deal.
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: $4.20 (less than half the paperback price)
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: $4.99 ($9.60 in paperback)
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown: $2.99 ($10.20 in paperback)
- Station Eleven: A novel by Emily St. John Mandel: $2.99 ($12.33 in paperback)
I’m going to keep that in mind when gift giving occasions arise!
What do you think? Is the e-book marketshare growth slowing down? If so, why? Is it temporary? Will we ever get to more than 50% unit sales being e-books in the USA? Why are e-books a bigger force in the UK? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.