eBooks by the Numbers: Open eBook Forum Compiles Industry Growth Stats
Report Points to Solid Growth of Electronic PublishingMarking a significant shift in the perception of electronic book publishing, the Open eBook Forum today released the results of an industry-wide analysis of sales growth and new product innovation. The world's first eBook industry trade and standards organization, the non-profit Open eBook Forum aggregates comprehensive business data, develops industry standards and champions electronic books as a tool to promote literacy and provide access for readers with disabilities. The results of the organization's analysis were announced by Nicholas Bogaty, executive director of the Open eBook Forum.
"The initial hype that surrounded the early days of eBooks has overshadowed the steady growth of a burgeoning industry," says Bogaty. "By providing concrete numbers on the solid growth of this market, we're able to tangibly assess its impacts on the traditional publishing world and on consumers."
Showing significant growth in all facets of the business, the analysis highlights the numbers of users adopting eBooks and related software, the creation of new technologies and the increasing use of eBooks by publishers as marketing tools that work in tandem with traditional book sales efforts. Open eBook Forum members that contributed data include Adobe Systems Inc., AOL Time Warner Book Group, HarperCollins, Microsoft Corporation, OverDrive, Random House, Inc., Simon & Schuster, Palm Digital Media and McGraw-Hill. The following are analysis findings:
Growth in Customer Base:
-Random House, Inc.'s eBook revenues doubled year-over-year in 2001 and
during the latest quarter ending in March, revenues were the highest
since the company began selling eBooks in 1998.
-HarperCollins' eBook imprint, PerfectBound, has sold more eBooks in the first five months of 2002 than in all of 2001
-Average monthly downloads of Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader have increased by approximately 70% from 2001 to 2002
-Simon & Schuster has seen double-digit growth in eBook sales from the first half of 2001 to the first half of 2002
-Over 5 million copies of Microsoft Reader have been distributed for use on desktop, notebook and Pocket PC systems
-Palm Digital Media reports that nearly 180,000 eBooks were sold in 2001, a more than 40% increase from 2000
-In 2002, McGraw-Hill Professional eBook sales are up 55% over the same period last year
New Technology Development/Consumer Product Offerings:
-Random House, Inc. has coordinated with its compositors and other print
partners to standardize eBook production and create print and eBook
-Adobe is providing new automated library lending functionality which allows patrons to check-out an eBook and check it back in
-Overdrive puts the number of publishers and independents offering a commercial eBook library at 450
-HarperCollins' PerfectBound is offering exclusive "eBook extras" on its frontlist titles
-The forthcoming tablet PC from Microsoft is being positioned as a perfect platform for reading
-23 AOL Time Warner Book Group's New York Times bestsellers for 2001 are available as eBooks
eBooks in Publishers' Marketing Efforts:
-All eight of Random House Inc.'s trade divisions are supporting digital
editions and have a commitment to publish lead titles simultaneously in
eBook and print.
-HarperCollins' PerfectBound promotions have increased the sales of individual titles as much as 5-10 times by offering older titles by an author for free in electronic form as a means to promote that author's latest title
-Simon & Schuster is publishing the complete Hemingway collection of 23 books electronically in August 2002
-In a recent survey of librarians, 41% of respondents indicated intent to offer Adobe PDF eBooks to their patrons