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eBooks, Marketshare and Boomers

I am on a panel about eBooks today at Computers in Libraries 2011 so here are a couple of soundbite data points:

“E-book sales in the US comprised 23.5% of all trade book sales for the month of January, according to statistics published by the Association of American Publishers.”

“E-book sales rose to $69.9m, out of a total figure for trade books of $297m. Despite hopes that it might, the growth in e-book sales did not make up for the decline in print.

And print declined fast. Adult hardcover books fell from $55.4m in January 2010 to $49.1m (-11.3%); adult paperbacks dropped from $104.2m to $83.6m (-19.7%) and adult mass market declined from $56.4m to $39m (-30.9%).

Noticeably the value of e-book sales overtook both adult hardcover books and adult mass market titles.”

Shock and awe and US e-book sales
via FutureBook blogs

Growing interest in eBooks by readers over 55
via OverDrive’s Digital Library Blog

“Younger Boomers, ages 47-56, as a percentage own the highest number of eBook readers and tablets.”

“In Britain, a poll of over-50s done by showed that 95% of them had shopped online, and that the product they bought most was books.”

“Anecdotal evidence shows that one popular reason that older people buy eBook devices is because of the ability to adjust type size. A recent video that went viral shows a 99-year-old woman with glaucoma using the iPad for the first time.”

“1. Make sure older patrons understand which devices work with your library collection. To many, “Kindle” is used generically, just as “Kleenex” is used instead of the word tissue. It will never occur to many people that some devices are not compatible with libraries.
2. Buy a few digital reading devices that do work with your collection, and keep them around to show to patrons. Many older people have never heard of this possibility, and seeing and touching is so much better than telling. Consider having a digital reader “petting zoo” program aimed specifically at older patrons
3. Large-type books have always gone out of print quickly, and if their sales drop and publishers stop printing them, your patrons with poor eyes may eventually have no choice but your digital book collection unless they qualify for service from the Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.”


Posted on: March 22, 2011, 7:11 am Category: Uncategorized

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