Survey: Digital book readers buying more print books

201208021325 Survey: Digital book readers buying more print books
A couple of new surveys reveal some interesting book buying trends. In the bad news category, weekly sales are down 32% from 2011but that’s mostly due to last summer’s Borders sell off, Publishers Weekly reports.

For the week ending July 31, 2011, total print sales were 15,092,000; for the week ending July 29, 2012, total print sales were 10,238,000, according to outlets tracked by BookScan. The steep drop off was the second consecutive week where 2012’s total print sales lagged behind 2011’s–last week (the week ending July 22), print sales were down 22% from the week of July 24, 2011.


In more encouraging news, a study by BISG, the Book Industry Study Group, shows that fewer ebook buyers are buying just ebooks, with the digital-only group declining from 70% in August 2011 to 60% in May 2012. Meanwhile, consumers who had no preferences or purchased books in digital AND print rose from 25% percent to 34%. That would suggest that the greater book reading community is finding some of the same phenomena as the comics industry, with wider digital distribution spurring people to say, “Gee, I’d like to hold something in my hand.”

Surprisingly, the iPad is NOT the most popular device reading books. That place goes to the Kindle Fire tablet, with ownership increasing among survey respondents from 7% in December 2011 to 20% in May.

Comments

  1. Hi I just checked out Marvel.com and they have an Avengers Blu-ray advertisement banner with a video add for MITT ROMNEY on top in the bottom right corner… I wish I was not have to live in corporate slave land.

  2. I been thinking about this for some time, but the nature of digital comics/blogs/twitter is the act of returning to them for more…so why not make a product that people can return to after its initial use? You pay once and then all subsequent updates are free, i.e. an annual anthology that you buy in Jan comes with work from 10 artists and for the rest of the year more stories are added. this could work in mainstream comics in the sense that you buy a run of a comic. looking back i feel the initial transition to digital print was too literal, at this time publishers should rly re-evaluate the current model or lack there of.

  3. I been thinking about this for some time, but the nature of digital comics/blogs/twitter is the act of returning to them for more…so why not make a product that people can return to after its initial use? You pay once and then all subsequent updates are free, i.e. an annual anthology that you buy in Jan comes with work from 10 artists and for the rest of the year more stories are added(this is something i’m personally working on).this could work in mainstream comics in the sense that you buy a run of a comic. looking back i feel the initial transition to digital print was too literal, at this time publishers should rly re-evaluate the current model or lack there of.

  4. Kevin says:

    That’s basically what happened to me. I bought my kindle fire, played around with it a bit, bought two digital books, and realized I like having a physical copy. So there you go.

  5. John Shableski says:

    Nice to see someone is digging into this side of the equation. From the way I see it, digital is a nice vetting tool for publishing. If the story is good, people will want to own a physical copy. Why would it be any different from collecting a strip such as Calvin & Hobbes, a comic book series like Sandman, or a webcomic like Smile: A Dental Drama into book form or the original serialized version of Pinocchio?
    Digital should be part of the business plan not just the entire business plan.

  6. Sphinx Magoo says:

    I think this is part of the seesaw effect with digital publishing. I go through it myself. In the example of comics, I usually buy e-comics, but sometimes I’ll miss going to an actual physical store. I’ll go to a store, pick up one or two things, but find myself thinking that I can pick up recent books cheaper in their electronic formats.

    Most publishers are very good about lowering their periodical prices after the first month. DC and Image, for example, usually lower back issues by about a dollar one month after publishing. Marvel definitely not so much. Dark Horse also offers great bundles on their digital books.

    My problem is that my iPad seems to have become family property, with everyone wanting to use whatever iApps I have installed. Valuable reading time floats away as one of my kids insists they can only play Plants vs. Zombies on my iPad. That’s when I look at physical copies of books, but the higher prices push me away.

    Oy. The problems of Western culture. ;)

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