Is an eReader or Tablet in Your Future, or mine?

I read this 2010 Survey of Book Buying Behaviour that gave some interesting stats on eReader adoption rates among book buyers. Compared to buyers of printed books, eBook purchasers are a small lot, but growing every day.

The survey said, among other things, that of the 9800 some-odd people surveyed…

  • eReader owners represent about 7% of all book buyers. (7% doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a percentage of a very large number!)
  • That number could grow to 12%-15% in the next two years.
  • 15% either already own an eReader or a very likely to purchase one in the next 6-12 months
  • 16% didn’t own an eReader but were somewhat likely to buy one in 6-12 months
  • 60% of respondents who already owned an eReader would buy 1 to 10 eBooks in the next 6-12 months
  • 47% of eReader owners would pay anywhere from less than $10 to almost $13 for an eBook
  • 14% of eReader owners¬†would pay between $14-$20 for an eBook.

My impression of book marketing is that my message is effectively a pebble thrown into the ocean. I must make a much larger splash for my ripples to be noticed out of all the rest of the masses of motion in the ocean.

One article I read said there are 1 million books being published in print each year.¬†That is a massive number. A publishing house employee was quoted as saying “that’s too many books”.

So, as an Author and book seller, it makes some sense to move out of the ocean and inhabit a smaller body of water, where there is less competition. In other words, to some degree, become a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Publishing for eReader platforms seems to be a simpler and more economical way to accomplish that, while at the same time, giving an Author an inexpensive (and almost immediate) publishing platform. And, distribution is to an audience who can control what they want to see to a greater degree than their bookstore-visiting cousins.

Similar to an opt-in email list, an eReader (or a Smartphone or PC running eReader software) is an opt-in platform. It displays content and content categories that are largely defined or controlled by the reader. The online bookseller (say, Amazon) wants to facilitate a sale quickly and easily, by feeding the eReader user book suggestions that match their interests. So not only are eReader users a smaller audience, but they are potentially a more focused, loyal audience, because their personal needs are being discovered and cultivated in real-time. Online content is catered more to their needs, and delivered in almost no time – barriers to entry are very low…

Is an eReader or tablet in your future, or mine? I think it’s very likely. What do you think?

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