Evidence showing a upward spiral in eBook usage continues to be reported. Forrester has published a five-year forecast for eBooks in the US. According to Forrester: 2010 will end with $966 million in eBooks sold to consumers and they forecast the industry will nearly triple to almost $3 billion by 2015.
Writing about the forecast James McQuivey of Forrester says eBook purchases are low on the list of how people acquire books but the people buying eBook are heavy readers :
eBook buying falls very low down on this list of how people acquire books. Just 7% of online adults who read books read eBooks. But that 7% happens to be a very attractive bunch: they read the most books and spend the most money on books. And here’s the kicker – the average eBook reader already consumes 41% of books in digital form. Oh, and that includes the people who don’t have an eReader yet, which is nearly half of them. For those that have a Kindle or other eReader, they read 66% of their books digitally.
They are an attractive bunch. Pew's “Americans and their gadgets” report released last month shed some light on who uses eBook readers:
At the moment, ownership of e-book readers and tablet computers is concentrated among college graduates and those with relatively high household incomes. Around one in ten Americans with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more own a tablet PC or e-book reader, while fewer than 5% of households earning less than $50,000 per year contain one of these devices.
Fast facts from WhatTheyThink's E-Books and E-Publishing Primer also show the upward spiral:
- According to the Association of American Publishers, in June 2010, E-book sales had increased by 119% over June 2009—and in May 2010, e-book sales had increased by about 163% over the previous May.
- In 2008, e-books accounted for 0.5% of all book sales; in 2009, e-books accounted for 1.3% of all book sales.
- 2010 has seen the first million-selling e-book author(s): Steig Larsson, author of the “Millennium” trilogy of The Girl Who... novels, has become the first author to sell one million Kindle e-books; James Patterson has become the first author to sell one million e-books in any format.
- An August survey conducted of UK iPad owners found that 31% prefer the iPad for the delivery of newspaper and magazine content—compared to 24% who prefer print.
Book retailer Borders recently announced a partnership with BookBrewer a start-up offering tools and services to self-publishers and bloggers that enables them create and sell eBooks. Take a look at BookBrewer. It's a good example of the type of service printing companies should consider offering.