Infographic to the rescue!

This week (month? year?) has been a whirlwind of much very good news and happy business, but with my brain in nonstop to-do-list-conquering mode, I’ve been struggling to come up with a good blog topic in between phone calls, emails, and contracts.  Happily the good people of Publishers Weekly sent me a blog topic in my email as if to say, “Don’t worry, Lauren!  It’s Friday, and people love infographics.”  (Thanks, PW!)

This visual distillation of some of the key e-book findings of Aptara’s 4th Annual eBook Survey of Publishers has some interesting information to tell us.  It also raises some questions:

Who are these 1 out of 5 publishers who do not produce e-books?

And of the 31% producing enhanced e-books, how many are producing enough that we’d notice?  I’m assuming just one counts as a yes.

Only 44% of publishers report that Amazon is their most lucrative sales channel?  This is surprising to me.  More surprising?  The publishers’ own websites being in second place.  Even distant second, I’d never have guessed that.

And why do publishers prefer the iPad as an e-reading device?


What questions does it raise for you?  And have you actually bought e-books directly from a publisher website?

8 Responses to Infographic to the rescue!

  1. Kevin A. Lewis says:

    Although as a writer, I don’t care if they publish books on telegraphically-tranmitted stone tablets as long as the check doesn’t bounce, but I still think bricks-and-mortar bookstores are an important part of the social fabric, as well as an opportunity for people to interact and make impulse purchases they wouldn’t even see if they’re isolated from each other online; this aside from the rather shocking revelation that agents actually read Publishers Weekly! It’s been an article of faith for some years out here that that just isn’t so-now we’ve got to redraw all our reality maps… Hopefully not with Amazon as the center of the universe, of course.

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was puzzled by some of this information. I suppose it isn’t that surprising that Amazon wouldn’t be the most lucrative sales channel for publishers since they need to give some of their profits to the e-tailer. It would be interesting to see where Google Books and other platforms like Blio stack up when it comes to the independent book market. I’m guessing that those numbers are relatively small when it comes to indie bookstores since the bulk of their sales are still probably through regular books. After all, their customers are people shopping locally in a physical bookstore.

    Other information I would be interested in is how this data is affecting advances and royalties for authors. (Since I’m a writer, of course that’s the piece I’m most interested in–no surprise there.) I have no idea where the preference for the iPad comes from and it will be interesting to see if anyone in publishing responds to that. As a reader, I really hate reading books on the iPad. It’s too heavy and the glare kills my eyes. I prefer the Kindle when it comes to e-readers. I guess that the iPad affords more options for publishers in that you can make just about any file format for the iPad as long as it’s compatible with a reading app. Everything looks beautiful on the iPad. Apple makes a point of providing excellent screens for all of their devices, so the iPad has the capability of showing photographs and illustrations in all of their glory. Plus, interactive features like video, sound files, and other links are at the reader’s fingertips.

    I’m surprised that enhanced e-books are even showing significant gains in the market because I read a lot and most of the reading I do is on an e-reader, and yet I haven’t seen anything available for me in an enhanced format. I’ve heard about a few titles at conferences, but that was usually the last I’d heard of them.

  3. ryan field says:

    The majority of my digital sales are Amazon…and so are my digital purchases. Most people I know make the same claim. And I’m distributed everywhere. As for the iPad being the most preferred device I think it could be true, but people nowadays seem to have more than one device, so it’s hard to tell. In others words, I buy a kindle e-book and then send it to four different devices, including my iPhone…also I send to my PC. My second choice is Kobo. I never actually made a digital purchase from a publisher web site.

    • You know, I never even thought to purchase a book directly from a publisher’s website. Not to sound unkind to publishers, but I usually get the impression they believe they are too high class to sell books directly to the little people.

  4. ryan field says:

    The part about Fifty Shades selling 250,000 before it was in print is interesting. I read it way before it went mainstream, in digital format. That book was being discussed online weeks…maybe months…with with serious digital readers before the mainstream caught on.

  5. Emily Carter says:

    sadly the Infographic seems to be out of commission :) If someone has copy, I would like to see it.

    I have bought digital books directly from Harlequin — but I prefer Barns & Noble — watch the stock — I bet it goes up until the New Year. My prediction is that B&N will fall after Jan first but start a slow climb to recovery.

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