Tracking Consumer Book Buying Trends

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In October 2011, Bowker (the storehouse of all publishing statistics) announced they would be doing a major study on book buying trends, specifically on e-books.  The objective of the study is to obtain information about publishing industry growth patterns as well as for tracking quantities (traditional vs non-traditional/ independent book sales). The study takes into consideration the quantity of books in print vs. digital publications (e-books).  To read the August 6, 2013 report, please follow this link. http://www.bowker.com/en-S/aboutus/press_room/2013/pr_08062013.shtml.

Technology-quote-Northrop-FryeIn my opinion, this data is much needed since the publishing industry is so rapidly changing and growing.  The study will be useful to more than just the publishing industry. The technology industry, libraries, and bookstore owners will benefit from this data. Many brick and mortar stores are trying to evaluate out how they can best serve communities with the changes that are underway in publishing.

Knowing the latest book buying trends is also helpful to independent publishers like myself. It helps us to know what platform readers are using most frequently and whether to publish a paper version, digital (e-book) or audio book and how to price them.

Have your book buying habits changed or are they likely to?  Has your reading platform changed from paper to electronic? Are you observing any trends in the kinds of books that are available for sale over the internet? We would like to hear from you.

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Transported to Another Realm

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The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. ~James McCosh

I purposely disassociated myself from my home reading environment over the past few days. For three hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I sat in our local library on a hard wooden chair sitting bolt upright at a table, sequestered in a corner, engaged in a story. I wanted to remove myself from as much external stimuli as possible and fully commit myself to a paranormal reading experience, literally and figuratively. Away from all thoughts of jumping up to do the laundry, do the dishes, or pay bills. You know how it goes -there is always something we can think of that we ought to be doing besides reading. I took no chances of being distracted by a lovely “cuppa hot tea” while reading the book, or let myself experience how nice it is to settle in and read surrounded by soft pillows. 

book transporting-520x366Sure, there were plenty of cushy chairs I could have chosen in the library, but the only thing I wanted to get comfortable with was the story. It worked! I forgot all about my aching derriere as I sat on a chair that felt as hard as stone. Completely engrossed in a fulfilling narrative,  I was transported into some other realm. Here are other tips for focusing while reading.http://bit.ly/12lWpdY.

In the coming days, I will be featuring information about the publication I was reading, which I perceive would be put in the new genre of books, that is growing – paranormal fiction. The book also fits into the context of what is beginning to take up more space in library catalogs  – electronic books (e-books or as some refer to them, digital books). 

Return tomorrow. We will be broaching a subject on human behavior. What with the news stories we learn of in this in this day and age, I am beginning to think the behavior we will discuss is paranormal. Perhaps by focusing on it, we will find that it is  more common than what we realize. For our future world, I certainly hope so.

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Getting Drawn In

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Gardens are a form of autobiography.” ~Sydney Eddison 

The other night, I read my first e-book! I don’t have an e-reader yet, but I downloaded Kindle onto my laptop (yes, it is possible!).  I decided to give digital books a whorl, by taking advantage of a free e-book, available until Labor Day. “When Hummers Dream” was my book of choice.  It is on the Kindle best selling free e-book list. http://bit.ly/rgRNo1.

You might ask –“Did you like reading by digital format, rather than having a book in hand?”  I dunno! I was too involved in waltzing through a painting of a gorgeous garden created by words of author Mara Purl to notice. Which, I suppose supports the argument that if a book is fulfilling, it really does not matter which format you use. Good books come via hardcover, paper bound volumes, audio and digital forms. The choices have been expanded by one more platform with the addition of e-books. 

There was one drawback, however, to downloading Kindle on my laptop computer, rather than having an independent e-reading device. I was too tempted to quickly peek to find out if I had any urgent emails.  I overcame that urge by deciding to fully enjoy my stroll through the place of enchantment where hummingbirds dream. I followed along the path of the little winged creature as it flew among hollyhocks, soared above the blue and purple flags of iris and indulged in the essence of the scented flora. 

Let’s face it – the distractions are there when reading books in print, too. Thoughts of a decadent ice cream treat, a steamy cup of tea ……a sound of an intriguing voice can interrupt a journey through a wonderful storyline of any book.  But a good read http://bit.ly/cPS5QL will always draw you back in, time and time again.

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“Explosive Growth” says Bowker

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The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes 

We are breaking away from our Friday film routine today because finally, I have found what I have been looking for. The storehouse of all publishing statistics, Bowker, has finally released their numbers for the year 2010. And it is indeed fulfilling news! 

Traditional publishing grew a 5% last year, whereas, “non-traditional publishing” continued along its path of “explosive growth” says Bowker. There were 1,033,065 non- traditionally published books put out into the marketplace in 2009 and these figures more than doubled in 2010 to 2,776,260, thanks in part to the availability of print on demand. The majority of these non-traditional titles are sold and marketed over the internet and are about “micro-niche” subjects. One can safely say, people are looking for publications that are different and unique. To read the entire Bowker report, please go to http://bit.ly/mBW02G

Although e-book sales are exceeding the sales of paperback books, http://huff.to/5f6hAJ, books in print are by no means a thing of the past. Many self-publishing authors and independent publishers (otherwise known as non-traditional publishers) opt for selling both print and e-books, so their presence is known in both digital markets and brick and mortar stores, libraries, colleges and other retail environments. 

So that’s the latest word folks, on this ever changing and fascinating world of publishing in this 21st century. We will see what next week brings.

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