digital reading

Is Amazon Losing its eBook Domination?

As digital publishing explodes, more and more players are tossing their hats into the ring—including authors, publishers and device manufacturers. How is this affecting the long-time industry leader, Amazon?

ereaders-ebooks-kindle-amazon

Since launching its revolutionary, best-selling Kindle eReader in 2007, Amazon enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the digital book market until recently. In the third quarter of 2010, the Kindle device retained a smaller, yet still impressive 41.5% market share, representing 1.14 million of 2.7 million eReaders sold during that period.

However, the online giant is rapidly losing ground to up-and-coming competitors like Apple’s iPad tablet, Sony, Pandigital, Kobo and the Barnes & Noble Nook, which now claims 25% of the eReader market.

When it comes to eBook sales Amazon still reigns supreme, boasting 950,000 digital titles that represent 60-65% of the market, as announced at BookExpo America last month. This past January, Kindle sales surpassed paperbacks in the Amazon online store and as of one month ago, they are outselling all printed books offered by the company.

If the iPad2 and Nook Color continue gaining in popularity, Amazon will be challenged to maintain its domination of the eReader and eBook markets. They have already responded by offering a lower-priced, ad-supported version of the Kindle, and it will be interesting to see what comes next.

Stay tuned and we’ll be sure to keep you updated at Between the Lines, our BookRix blog!

Are Self-Destructing Library eBooks a Good Idea?

By this time, you’ve probably read about the brouhaha caused by HarperCollins’ decision in February to limit the lending of library ebooks to only 26 checkouts—reckoned to be a year’s worth of use. At which time, the digital volume in question would simply self-destruct, forcing libraries to re-purchase the title. The publisher defends its new policy by arguing that most printed library books have a limited shelf life and eventually fall apart, unlike digital materials, which can conceivably last forever.

eBooks_self-destruction_librariesNeedless to say, this overwhelmingly unpopular proposal has outraged librarians around the country, who consider 26 checkouts to be an arbitrary—and excessively low—number. The American Library Association criticized this decision via an official statement in early March and many library systems have chosen to suspend their purchases of HarperCollins ebooks. A full-scale boycott of all of the publishing conglomerate’s imprints is gaining momentum and an online petition has collected nearly 70,000 signatures so far against the policy.

In the two months since its announcement, the beleaguered publisher has refused to back down from its stance, sparking critical commentaries by newspaper editors, book-related newsletters and many others. In addition, this issue has inspired much discussion and speculation about the future management of digital content, which represents a brand-new sector of the publishing industry.

What is YOUR take on HarperCollins’ ebook checkout policy? Are they out of their minds, simply greedy, or can you actually see their point of view? Is there a better, more mutually beneficial and democratic solution possible? Take the BookRix Facebook poll or comment below and let us know what you think!

E-Book Sales More Than Double in 2010

eReaders_digital_books_on_BookRixAccording to the Association of American Publishers, domestic sales of e-books jumped from $166.9 million (3.2% of combined trade sales) in 2009 to $441 million (8.3% of combined trade sales) in 2010. That’s an increase of 164.4% in just one year, and 623% since 2008, when sales were $61.3 million (only 1% of trade sales).

Meanwhile, printed book sales have been steadily decreasing. Kindle content revenues on Amazon.com have overtaken hardcover sales (since July 2010) and paperback sales (as of January 2011). Amazon reports selling 115 Kindle e-books for every 100 paperback books sold since the beginning of the year and up to 180 e-books for every 100 hardcover books.

We believe the e-book market stands to grow dramatically as more and more consumers acquire e-reader devices. A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life project claims that 5% of American adults currently own e-reader devices such as the Kindle, Nook or Sony Reader. These devices appear to be most popular among baby boomers, with 7% between the ages of 47 and 56 and 6% aged 66 to 74 owning them. However, since many people read e-books on their smartphones, tablets and computers, these figures vastly underestimate the total number of people who read e-books.

Speaking of which, here’s a quick tip: Did you know that much of the downloadable free e-book content available here at BookRix in the ePub format can be uploaded to and read on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch using the Stanza e-reading app?

With nearly 15,000 book and short story titles available for free on BookRix, you’re sure to find something you enjoy reading on your smart phone, e-reader or personal computer! And don’t forget to check out the new SocialBook© by BookRix writing feature authors are using to create collaborative digital e-books, with most available for download and written together online by multiple authors!

Archives

Grab the BookRix Button

BookRix Between the Lines

HELPFUL BOOKS

BookRix Between the Lines

BookRix Blog Buddies

Reading Addiction Blog Tours Me, My Shelf and I Parajunkee Design When A Southern Woman Rambles