Last September. Waterstone's, the British bookseller, began selling the Sony eReader. Last week they released sales information.
The chain claims to have sold almost 30,000 readers and their downloads have passed the 75,000 mark. Which works out to about 2 1/2 books per reader. Very interesting. . .
Particularly interesting since Amazon refuses to give out any sales numbers on the Kindle other than Jeff Bezos' statement that "sales are great." And an estimate that 12% of book sales are for the Kindle editions.
The one sure thing is that eBook sales are on the upswing, whatever anyone says about individual eReader sales. The IDPF (International Digital Publishing Foundation) reports that between January and November, 2008 sales were up 63.8%. The disclaimer on this is that the IDPF number reflects only the sales for 13 of the many trade book publishers.
Alternatively, Ingram's Education Solutions unit reported that eBook sales from January to May, 2008 surpassed the 2007 figures by 400 percent!
Both of these stats sound really great until you realize that eBooks sales are about .5% of all book sales. And when you consider the number of smart phones (including the iPhone) in use .5% is shockingly low.
My original supposition was that much of the reading on these devices are downloads from project Gutenberg on other free eBook sites. But if Juniper Research is correct, my supposition is dead wrong.
The Juniper analyst predicts that the worldwide mobile adult market will hit $4.9 Billion within the next five years. Hmmm. I suppose that is good news for Larry Flynt, but not so good for Amazon and the major publishers.
No matter what you choice of reading material is I want to remind you that Read an eBook Week starts March 8th. We will have more info about how you can help promote this week and make it a success.
Short post today -- have to spend the week getting all my tax info to the accountant. I do hate this time of the year!