E-Book Buyers Buy More Books

New research by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has made some interesting discoveries.

  • E-book consumers say they are buying more books overall, but fewer in print, and are decreasing their total dollars spent
  • More than 40% of e-book readers have reduced the number and dollars spent on hardcovers and paperbacks.
  • Retailers are becoming more important than publishers as a source of information about e-books.
  • General fiction and mysteries are the fastest-growing e-book genres.
  • More respondents received e-readers as gifts than bought them for themselves.
  • Respondents who bought devices for themselves most often were motivated by suggestions from friends.
  • The iPad has only a marginal impact on the popularity of the Kindle and Nook.
  • Heavy to moderate book buyers want e-devices that don’t have a lot of other options.
  • The iPad may bring new and light e-book buyers into the market.

The full November 17, 2010 BISG press release can be found here.

It will be very interesting to read their findings a year from now. In the next year we will see a veritable flood of “Tablet” devices and more dedicated E-Readers. Plus it is highly likely there will be an iPad 2.0.

I carry my Kindle when traveling and really appreciate the convenience. Transferring documents via wi-fi makes it ideal. I’ve even uploaded all of my speeches and teaching notes, just in case I forget to bring the correct file folder…a backup. In addition I’ve stopped traveling with a laptop. My Droid smartphone provides access to everything I need (in most cases). And now Carbonite (www.carbonite.com) allows for remote access to any files backed up on the office computer, so any file can be retrieved at any time, anywhere. My oldest brother, on the other hand, loves his iPad.

Do you have a e-reader device, other than a smart phone or a laptop? If so, which one, and how do you use it?

16 Responses to E-Book Buyers Buy More Books

  1. Avatar
    Sarah Forgrave November 18, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    I don’t have an e-reader, but a Kindle is on my Christmas wish list. Interesting to read these stats. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Avatar
    Mark Young November 18, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    I first purchased a Nook earlier this year to buy novels,and I picked up a Kindle two months ago. Right now, I use these eReaders to purchase novels and to sample unknown author’s works. I also picked up both readers to double check format errors when my first novel comes out as an eBook in the next few months. Yes, my print consumption has dropped.

  3. Avatar
    Elise Stone November 18, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    I bought a Nook when the price for the wifi only version dropped to $149. I’d been waiting several years for ebook technology to evolve to the point where the experience of reading on a screen was as pleasurable as reading the printed page. I chose the Nook because of the open epub format and the ability to download ebooks from the library. Plus I was annoyed when Amazon pulled all Macmillan books from its site earlier this year.

    Yes, I am buying more books since I got my Nook. I’ve even bought ebook versions of paper books I already owned (but hadn’t read yet) because of the convenience of having the lighter, more portable version to carry with me. I also love being able to change the font size to something larger for my old, tired eyes in the evenings after staring at a computer screen all day.

    It’s hard to judge whether having an ebook reader has impacted my purchase of paper books. I’d already started borrowing more books from the library instead of buying them because of the economy and uncertainty about my job. In other words, those sales were probably already lost. But some of them have been regained because of having a Nook.

  4. Avatar
    Lynnda Ell November 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    I got my Kindle two weeks ago. I’ve already read five novels on it and downloaded three additional books. I love it. The charge life on the battery is great. Unlike my cell phone and laptop, it doesn’t heat up while I use it. I appreciate the light weight and the ease of downloading books. Best of all,I can always have a new book to read. It’s like living in a book store. How great is that?

  5. Avatar
    Naomi Musch November 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    I received a Kindle for my birthday last week just before I was about to buy one. I am psyched to be able to reduce my shelf space. Also, as I started seeing more epubs popping up all over the place, I realized that this is going to be the biggest trend in publishing for a long time to come. I have 4 books coming out with epubs over the next 2 years, and so far, I’m very happy with the ride — as author and reader.

  6. Avatar
    Sharon Gillenwater November 18, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    I don’t have an e-reader yet, though it’s on my Christmas wish list. Last week I received an email from a reader who said she and her husband were retirees and traveled all the time. Thus she only bought e-books because she had no place to keep printed ones. I’d never thought of that angle.

  7. Avatar
    Jaime Wright November 19, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    I have the Kindle app on my Android. Nothing beats paper and ink! Use the Kindle only when desperate and I don’t have the ‘real’ thing. 🙂

  8. Avatar
    K. Dawn Byrd November 19, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    I read on an Eken, which has an android platform. I’ve downloaded the Kindle app to the Eken and read with it, but also have access to the internet. If anyone is thinking about buying one of these…be careful! They crash easily. I purchased the sd card to reflash it on eBay. If I hadn’t found one, I would have had to trash the unit.

  9. Avatar
    Jill November 19, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    My husband gave me a Nook for my birthday, which promptly went dead after a few months. But before it died, I used it to buy books, books, and more books. I don’t want an e-reader with all the bells and whistles. In fact, I’d prefer an e-reader to remain as pure as possible–a device for reading and buying books. I would also like to find a format that will allow me to download my own WIPs and send them to beta readers. I’m sure this format already exists, and if and when B&N makes good on their warranty, I will search out my options.

  10. Avatar
    Beth Goddard November 19, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    I have a Kindle and carry it with me so I can read anytime and anywhere and I can buy another book if I want, anytime, anywhere. I received an iPad for a gift two weeks ago and although I have the Kindle App, I probably won’t read books on the iPad because of the back-lighting. I think of it as more of a toy, but I’m working to put all my digital photos on it for easy access. I want iPhone but my husband is trying to talk me into a droid. Any thoughts on that?

  11. Avatar
    Michael K. Reynolds November 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm #


    I enjoy your Blog postings and insights. Shall we say, “Could I have some more, please?” or will we suffer Oliver’s fate?

    I’d like to see a study on what percentage of e-Book readers actually complete the full book without skipping chapters. I wonder if it’s a smaller number than those who buy printed tomes and savor every piece of papyrus. My greatest concern with the e-Book phenomenon is that we take up the reading habits of Tweeters and Blog readers. Are we moving toward the 10,000 word novel?

  12. Avatar
    Steve November 20, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Fascinating responses!

    Regarding the Droid… I chose the Droid 2 because it is on the Verizon network and my two year plan was up for renewal. This particular device has the slide out keyboard which I need because I’ve yet to train my fingers to type on the touch screen with any sort of accuracy.

    As for Michael’s comments….
    Actually you are more likely to skip chapters in a paperbook because you can flip pages more easily. With an e-reader you have to intentionally chose to move to a different section of the book.

    The “sound-bite” reading habits of the market I think has greater impact on non-fiction where folks want their inspiration or information in quickly consumable portions. In fiction, readers still want to lose themselves in the story and, if it is a good one, never want it to end.

  13. Avatar
    Anita Mae Draper November 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    I have the Sony eReader 700 and the iTouch. I use both for reading ebooks although only the iTouch can surf the web. (The iPhone is not available where I live.) The smaller iTouch is perfect to slip out of my pocket and read while waiting in the grocery line. It also doesn’t bother hubby when we’re driving at night.

    I read my manuscripts on the Sony before sending to anyone else because I ‘catch’ things that way. Somehow, my brain thinks I’m reading a published book. LOL After I read it, I hand the eReader to my hubby for Beta reading. He prefers to read it that way, too. Plus, it’s easy to mark problem areas. I use both the eReader and iTouch for beta reading other people’s manuscripts, too.

    If I could I’d buy an iPad. An author displayed her book trailer on an iPad at the huge booksigning at RWA 2010 in Orlando. And then I saw someone taking notes by typing on one at a Steve Laube workshop at the last ACFW conference in Indy. 😀

    But probably by the time I’m ready to buy, all sorts of new and wonderful versions will be released. Yay!

  14. Avatar
    Teddi Deppner December 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    Got a Kindle in October, and absolutely love it. My house is small and my family is growing. No room for more physical books ANYWAY (lots more library trips). Having the Kindle has renewed my book-buying, since the books there don’t take up more space. This works very well for fun novels that are purely for entertainment and/or keeping up with current fiction trends. Also great for educational reading. I send PDFs to myself all the time — drafts from writer friends, drafts of my own stuff, etc. Works great!

    The latest small Kindle is (imho) much lighter than the Nook and travels soooo easily with me everywhere. Glad it has some bare-bones Net access, even though I don’t use it much and would NOT want to pay more or see a heavier device just for those features. Good backup way to reach email or Facebook.

    Also got a Motorola Droid 2 last month. Didn’t originally want a smartphone. My AT&T contract was up and I switched to Verizon for greater coverage area. I didn’t think I “needed” to text people or check email constantly on my phone, but already it has been a good thing, because of ONE factor: They now offer smaller text and data packages. I was able to get limited text and data for only about $20 more per month (rather than $40).

    With the Droid, I’m actually MORE efficient with my time on the computer because I’m not constantly checking email — my phone lets me know if I got something and it’s easy to see whether or not it’s important.

    As for Droid vs. iPhone — Droids rule!!! I think it’s superior technology and will just keep getting better.

    I also like smartphones (now) because I can combine a bunch of devices I like to carry everywhere into one small package: phone, mp3 player, camera, GPS, address book / planner, plus light Internet/email. Pretty slick.

    Finally, I have a Toshiba Netbook, which is a very light-weight mini laptop with a long-lasting battery. I use it mostly as a word processor for mobile writing. I put current projects on a USB flash drive and simply plug it into my desktop computer or Netbook wherever I happen to be working. Love it.

    @Michael – I never skip chapters, doesn’t matter whether e-book or paper. I haven’t found my reading habits changed much between the two. Other than doing more reading because of ease of carrying.

    And as for 10,000 word books, I think we already have that. Trilogies and 10-book series, etc. Don’t we break these long stories into batches because of the limitations of the print medium? I’d just as soon subscribe to an author’s serial fiction publication if I love the characters! I don’t care how long the story gets, as long as there are satisfying “stop points” along the way so I can take a breather when necessary. 🙂

    Great discussion, ya’all. Thanks for starting it, Steve!

  15. Avatar
    Linda Rodante October 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    I have a Kindle that I received for Christmas two years ago. Still reading books on it. Love to be able to buy and read wherever and whenever.


  1. Tweets that mention E-Book Buyers Buy More Books | Steve Laube -- Topsy.com - November 18, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JulieSurfaceJohnson, Jennifer H Taylor. Jennifer H Taylor said: E-Book Buyers Buy More Books: New research by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) has made some interesting dis… http://bit.ly/czp4EH […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get New Posts by Email

Get New Posts by Email

Each article is packed with helpful info and encouragement for writers. You can unsubscribe at any time with one click. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!