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View Poll Results: Please click the two most common documents you load into your eBook reading device.
eBook versions of just published, bestselling print books 33 28.95%
eBook versions of new, but not bestselling, print books 60 52.63%
eBook versions of older, but still in copyright, print books 73 64.04%
eBooks with no print versions by independent publishers 29 25.44%
eBooks of free, public domain classics 53 46.49%
Documents from the Web, e.g., articles, master's thesis, etc. 15 13.16%
Documents you wrote yourself 4 3.51%
eBooks in languages I can't get around here 5 4.39%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 114. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-01-2011, 01:32 PM   #16
Ravensknight
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#2 and #3 for me. I like new SFF stuff, but it is NEVER a bestseller against all the other books :-)
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:18 PM   #17
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I chose one - public domain. My second choice would've been library books, but that wasn't an option.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:34 PM   #18
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You forgot to put "Not new bestsellers" Thats what I read most, That and new bestsellers
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:52 PM   #19
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Elfwreck,

Thanks so much for your comments about the poll being heavily skewed toward mainstream-publishing mentality and the point about POD. I will rethink my wording for the next version of the survey.

Chris
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:33 PM   #20
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The one I would have picked is not on there. It's classical literature and out of print books.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisarippel View Post
Elfwreck,

Thanks so much for your comments about the poll being heavily skewed toward mainstream-publishing mentality and the point about POD. I will rethink my wording for the next version of the survey.
You're welcome. It's not bad; it's just seeking data from a perspective that doesn't mesh with my reading choices.
Things I'm not sure how to categorize:
  • Fanfic, as I mentioned, which is sometimes available in ebook formats
  • Former in-print books reclaimed by authors & published as ebooks (sometimes has POD options)
  • New ebooks by self-pubbed authors (may or may not have POD option)
  • Documents not from the web: job-related files, school assignments, private docs from friends (I suspect that, at the moment, this isn't anyone's top use of an ebook reader--but both businesses and schools are trying to figure out how to use them)
  • Multimedia ebook-ish docs (which I don't touch, but may become more popular)--"enhanced" ebooks
  • Documents that aren't remotely booklike (most of which are something like "docs you made yourself" or "docs from the web", but somehow, including bus schedules, hotel reservation verifications, and shopping lists under "ebooks" seems weird.)
  • Audiobooks. Which fit in the general categories of "bestsellers/others/indie," but are still very different uses of the ebook reader.
  • Podcasts. Ditto.
  • Ebooks with no print version by non-indie publishers. (F'rex, some of P.C. Hodgell's ebooks by Baen.)
  • Bootleg/pirated ebooks. (Which, although a worthwhile category to gather data about, you don't need to ask--not enough people will admit to it to make the numbers useful. But you need to be aware you're not getting that info.)
But even those aren't how I think of ebook reading. If I were gathering data on ebook readers, I'd ignore the "bestseller" category--who decides that? How would a reader know if a given ebook is or was a "bestseller?" Those who mostly buy currently-on-the-charts bestsellers may know; those who buy or read a notably broader range may not pay attention to whether a given book is a bestseller. (And if you read ebooks that were bestsellers 8 years ago, where does that fit?)

Without knowing what you're trying to do with this info, it's hard to come up with better phrasing or categories. If it's just for idle curiosity, anything interesting to you works; if you're an aspiring author and want to know how people use their ebook readers, that's different from if you work with an indie publisher and are trying to figure out how broad the marketplace is.
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisarippel View Post
If new bestsellers drive eBook purchasing, then 50% or more of the votes would be for "eBook versions of just published, bestselling print books".

If new bestsellers do not drive eBook purchasing, then less than 50% of the votes would be for "eBook versions of just published bestselling print books".
I understand what you're seeking to achieve, but I would take issue with your figure of 50% as the criterion. Assuming everyone votes for exactly 2 categories, then a score of 50% of the total votes is the maximum that any category could achieve - it would mean that every single participant has chosen that category as one of their options. Whilst this would undoubtedly mean that the category in question did "drive eBook purchasing", I hardly think it's a fair requirement as a "pass mark"!
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:03 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by mediax View Post
Whilst this would undoubtedly mean that the category in question did "drive eBook purchasing", I hardly think it's a fair requirement as a "pass mark"!
Good point. I agree completely. My explanation does make it sound like I am using the 50% as a "pass mark".

In fact, I will compare the percentage of that category with the percentages of other categories. The fact that three or four other categories are higher than "just published bestsellers" is the real evidence that this category is not driving eBook purchasing.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisarippel View Post
Good point. I agree completely. My explanation does make it sound like I am using the 50% as a "pass mark".

In fact, I will compare the percentage of that category with the percentages of other categories. The fact that three or four other categories are higher than "just published bestsellers" is the real evidence that this category is not driving eBook purchasing.
Keep in mind that polling at Mobileread is already skewing the results--the active membership here is well-informed about ebook sources, hardware & software, and DRM-savvy, and often long-time ebook readers who've seen industry changes over the last several years. We are not, for the most part, Amazon's target demographic. Results here tell you *nothing* about what the Big 6 publishers can expect in sales.

Also, you asked, "what do you read," not "what do you buy." Those are two very different questions; even people who read bestseller ebooks may not be buying them--they could borrow them through the Kindle/Nook lending option, or read a shared copy from a multi-person account, or get them from a library, or get bootleg/pirate copies--which could be either downloaded from anonymous online sources, or shared by a friend who stripped the DRM and hands out a few copies to friends & family only.

Knowing what people read is only somewhat connected to knowing what they buy. This has been one of the great gaps in communication between publishers and readers--publishers have always focused only on sales; the literary communities have focused on reading. Publishers would like to believe that ebooks can make those categories overlap almost entirely.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:41 PM   #25
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I'm having a hard time making a choice in this list. I love some new ebooks, some older ones and so on. I choose a book based on what is inside, not on some outside parameters.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:16 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quexos View Post
I'm having a hard time making a choice in this list. I love some new ebooks, some older ones and so on. I choose a book based on what is inside, not on some outside parameters.
The phrasing makes it easier: What are the two most common types for you to load onto your ebook reader? It's not asking what you like best.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:51 AM   #27
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Lets see on my kindle right now I have:

Four public domain books.
one ebook only, self published book.
Two books from the mid 90's.
One book from the 20's.

Only one book from 2011 (as far as I know it's not a "best seller")
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:07 PM   #28
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I picked the first 3.
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