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Digital may increase book sales


That’s the thrust of an article in FutureBook.  Here’s a snippet.  Lots more in the article.

Conventional wisdom suggests that e-books will cannibalise sales of printed books, but according to the respondents of the Book Industry Study Group’s US-focused report Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, this might not be the case. Of the respondents who said they prefer to read e-books on dedicated e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s Nook, only 27% are buying fewer paperback titles, and only 25% are buying fewer hardbacks, despite almost 40% increasing their purchases of e-books.

This suggests that people will continue to buy multiple formats, despite having a dedicated e-reading device. In fact, 4% of dedicated e-reader users have bought more hardbacks since they started buying e-books and 2% have bought an increasing number of paperbacks. If this implication pans out—that there may not be an either/or, “p” versus “e” world shaping up, but a marketplace where content in multiple formats actually increases book purchasing across the board—this is welcome news indeed.

Similarly, of all the US e-reader owners surveyed by New York-based Verso Advertising’s for its Verso Digital 2010 Survey of Book-Buying Behaviour, over 90% said that they would continue to purchase printed books. The majority (70.1%) said they would purchase over six printed books next year and a quarter (25.8%) said they would buy 13 or more print books. Considering that only 45% of Americans said they read one or more books a year—according to a 2010 report by Bowker—this is good news. The context, of course, is that e-reader early adopters would, naturally, be keener reader.

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