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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read a blog this week that discusses how the book buying public is changing and, based on the statistics in that blog, there's some pretty interesting stuff going on. Five years ago, I kept hearing how fiction ebooks will not catch on for years to come and when they do, it will be the younger generation who will buy the books. Well, according to data collected by PubTrack, a syndicated consumer research service, that prediction is wrong. PubTrack obtains monthly data, by way of detailed questionnaires from over 36,000 book buyers, whose gender, age, and income run the gamut, and the results in some areas are astonishing.

Some of the compiled data was posted in a blog titled "The New Book Buying Realities" by Charlotte Abbott, which you can read at http://www.followthereader.wordpress.com/. You'll have to scroll down a bit, though, as she posted the blog on May 14th.

A sampling of the data reveals that 67% of potential readers now find reviews online rather than through traditional print media. Also, the largest group of Kindle users are people age 50 or older, followed by the 18-34 group. Also, while ebooks represent only 1.5% of all books sold, ebook sales grew by 125% in 2008 alone, and a whopping 183% among readers who were age 65 and over, and 174% for the 55-65 age group. Wow.

Here's an interesting stat: people ages 35 to 49 generally prefer to use their iPhones to read ebooks. Geez, I don't even own an iPhone and I don't know anyone in my family who does. Also, most people (48%) are still using their computers or laptops to read ebooks.

In case your head isn't spinning yet, here's a few more stats:

In 2008, 45% of Americans read a book last year, yet 50% of Americans, age 13 or older bought a book. The average age of readers was 44 and 58% of those readers are women. The average reader spends 5.2 hours per week reading, 15 hours online, and 13.1 hours watching TV. Apparently, going online surpassed watching TVas the primary activity in 2008, which doesn't really surprise me. And I'm sure there are a lot of us who do both at the same time.

Anyhow, there are many more statistics on the blog and plenty of topics for discussion, so if you're interested don't forget to check out the wordpress blog.

Happy reading.
 

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I'm not surprised that it's the older people who are opting for e-books.  PC's became readily available (although primitive by today's standards) about 25-30 years ago.  People in the 50-60 age group would have been in their 20's and grew up with that technology.  I think that predisposes them to more accepting of e-book technology. 

It's hard enough to get young people to read, so the stats on younger people reading e-books probably correlate to how much these age groups read in total. 

I think it's interesting how much the buying of e-books increased last year.  I think Amazon probably played a very large part in that increase.

Thanks for posting, Debra.  It's good to know where we stand as authors/publishers of e-books. 
 

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And you know that after buying a lot of DTB and putting all that money in the hands of the publishers (who are now mostly consolidated and bought up by the oil companies), I had said quit.
I want my money to go to the authors.
So ebooks appeal to me with or without a Kindle.
But the K2 really makes it easier.
Just sayin.....
 

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geoffthomas said:
And you know that after buying a lot of DTB and putting all that money in the hands of the publishers (who are now mostly consolidated and bought up by the oil companies), I had said quit.
I knew they were consolidating; Random House owns an awful lot of the other houses. I didn't know it was the oil companies that bought them. I guess they need the publishers for the tax loss, since they make so much money on gas.


I want my money to go to the authors.
So ebooks appeal to me with or without a Kindle.
But the K2 really makes it easier.
Just sayin.....
And the authors appreciate it.

I keep thinking how the traditional publishers kept turning down Nora Roberts a decade ago, after she had made a name for herself at Silhouette. Big Mistake. She's not only good, she's saleable.

We've talked about publishers, but what about agents? How is all this self-publishing affecting them? Will agents be feeling the pinch as more of us don't even bother to try the traditional routes?

What about publishers. Diane Salerni self-published and then was picked up by a publisher. Do you think the publishers are looking at sales stats on Amazon, reading the best sellers of the indies and maybe making an offer to pick them up? That would surely be cutting out agents, too.
 

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Here's an interesting stat: people ages 35 to 49 generally prefer to use their iPhones to read ebooks. Geez, I don't even own an iPhone and I don't know anyone in my family who does. Also, most people (48%) are still using their computers or laptops to read ebooks.
Yep, I'm in the upper range of that group and prefer reading on my iphone. I hate reading on my computer though.
 

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Debra Purdy Kong said:
people ages 35 to 49 generally prefer to use their iPhones... most people (48%) are still using their computers or laptops
This must mean that there are still many people who don't know about the wonderful Kindle. We should start enabling the general public. ;D
 

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wierd
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gertie Kindle 'Turn to Page 390' said:
I knew they were consolidating; Random House owns an awful lot of the other houses. I didn't know it was the oil companies that bought them. I guess they need the publishers for the tax loss, since they make so much money on gas.


And the authors appreciate it.

I keep thinking how the traditional publishers kept turning down Nora Roberts a decade ago, after she had made a name for herself at Silhouette. Big Mistake. She's not only good, she's saleable.

We've talked about publishers, but what about agents? How is all this self-publishing affecting them? Will agents be feeling the pinch as more of us don't even bother to try the traditional routes?

What about publishers. Diane Salerni self-published and then was picked up by a publisher. Do you think the publishers are looking at sales stats on Amazon, reading the best sellers of the indies and maybe making an offer to pick them up? That would surely be cutting out agents, too.
Big publishers are definitely looking at a self-published author's sales numbers, though not necessarily on amazon, plus their promotion/marketing efforts. I know of a couple of authors who sold well, caught the attention of publishers who picked them up and reprinted their books. The thing is, the authors did all of the ground work, and a lot of it too, before they landed their contracts. They had built a fan base so the risk wasn't as large for the publisher. Also, perhaps not surprising, is that these authors have strong marketing and/or advertising backgrounds.
 

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The stats are very interesting and revealing.  The e-book stats were the most fascinating -- what a difference the Kindle has made to each of us and the world we live in.  It is interesting to note that people use their i-phones for reading.  I don't own an i-phone, but it seems to me that it would be too tiny for me to truly enjoy reading.  But hey -- I'm in that over 50 group!  Please note I do have a cellphone, although I do not use it very often.  Thanks for the info!
 

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Rasputina said:
Yep, I'm in the upper range of that group and prefer reading on my iphone. I hate reading on my computer though.
I hate reading books on the computer too and I don't own an iphone/itouch etc, but I gotta think reading on them would not be the best experience.
 

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A stat I would like to find out about is how do people who use e-readers stack up to dtb readers.  I got to think those who have an e-reader are on the upper end of the reader spectrum as far as number of books purchased/read.
 

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Forster said:
A stat I would like to find out about is how do people who use e-readers stack up to dtb readers. I got to think those who have an e-reader are on the upper end of the reader spectrum as far as number of books purchased/read.
I would think that many people use the library and used book stores to hold down the cost of their reading habits, just as many of us did pre Kindle.
 

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Forster said:
I hate reading books on the computer too and I don't own an iphone/itouch etc, but I gotta think reading on them would not be the best experience.
I'll tell you why I love reading on it. It's 1/2 the weight of my kindle and much smaller in size so it's a lot easier to read while lying in bed and as someone that prefers to lay on their side the smaller size makes it much easier to tuck in and read from, I can literally hold it in my palm. I can change the background and font color and font size, I usually read with black background and a white font. I can read in landscape or portrait mode. The pages load faster and I never ever have problems getting instant downloads of books or samples. For some reason my K1 is a total PITA with the whispernet. At least 1/2 the time I have to repeatedly tell my K1 to sync before I get my stuff downloaded. And the graphics are much better quality on my phone. Additionally the load time and ease of use and color screen while shopping on the Amazon kindle store on my iphone is a huge improvement. Plus I always have my phone with me anyway, so it's one less thing to take with me.

Forgot to add that the touch screen is also wonderful as is having color!
 

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How do you track something like this
 
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