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Old 01-15-2009, 09:13 PM   #1
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Ebooks beginning to reach UK readers (Guardian article)

Ebooks beginning to reach UK readers

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Four months after Waterstone's entered the digital era, putting the Sony Reader on the shelves, the first set of sales figures for the electronic book show a market which is finally on the move.

The chain has sold almost 30,000 of the £224 readers since the launch in September, and has seen downloads of electronic books from the Waterstone's site pass the 75,000 mark.

"We are very pleased with sales so far," said Waterstone's commercial director, Neil Jewsbury, calling the figures "excellent" and suggesting that "UK readers and bookbuyers are ready for digital books".

With a sevenfold increase of ebook downloads on Christmas Day, it's clear that many of the Readers were bought as Christmas presents, but Waterstone's are confident that this is a new phase in digital publishing.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:18 PM   #2
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That makes me wonder how many ebooks sony has sold..
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:22 AM   #3
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According to the article,

"The editor of the publishing news site Book Brunch, Nicholas Clee [was] 'puzzled that each purchaser has bought only two ebooks. People seem to be buying the device but not using it."

Assuming there hasn't been a misquote here, Mr Clee is under the impression that Waterstones is the only site from which ebooks can be purchased for the UK Sony Reader. This suggests some interesting possibilities:

1)30,000 owners of the Sony Reader in the UK are buying their books from US online sites like Fictionwise;
2)They all know how to use MobiDeDrm;
3)They're all still working their way through the 100 free classics;
4)The 30,000 new owners of the Sony Reader (most of whom, the evidence suggests, got it as a Christmas present, given the huge spike in sales on or just after December 25th) haven't touched it since they unwrapped it, and the 70,000 ebook sales on the Waterstones site can be attributed primarily to a small group of enthusiasts;
5)They're all downloading books from bittorrent instead.
6) Some combination of the above.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:40 AM   #4
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Edit.

Last edited by dadioflex; 12-16-2010 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garygibsonsf View Post
"The editor of the publishing news site Book Brunch, Nicholas Clee [was] 'puzzled that each purchaser has bought only two ebooks. People seem to be buying the device but not using it."
Considering that many MR members buy fewer than 2 books a month (according to the MR poll), why should it be surprising that Waterstones has sold an average of 2 books per Reader so far? Furthermore, considering that a large number of people among the general population read fewer than 5 books in a 12-month period, I see nothing off about the number of books sold so far.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
Considering that many MR members buy fewer than 2 books a month (according to the MR poll), why should it be surprising that Waterstones has sold an average of 2 books per Reader so far? Furthermore, considering that a large number of people among the general population read fewer than 5 books in a 12-month period, I see nothing off about the number of books sold so far.
I think MR members read more than 2 books a month and are getting free books elsewhere.

But people who buy dedicated readers should be reading more than two books month, simply because it is an expensive device and I doubt many people who read 5 books a year would be interested in buying one.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
Considering that many MR members buy fewer than 2 books a month (according to the MR poll), why should it be surprising that Waterstones has sold an average of 2 books per Reader so far? Furthermore, considering that a large number of people among the general population read fewer than 5 books in a 12-month period, I see nothing off about the number of books sold so far.
I do not know that that poll is accurate. I, for one, did not reply to the poll becuase I can't give a number. I don't buy books on a monthly budget; every so often I come across an author I like, and I buy everything I can find.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
I do not know that that poll is accurate. I, for one, did not reply to the poll becuase I can't give a number. I don't buy books on a monthly budget; every so often I come across an author I like, and I buy everything I can find.
Nate, I gave a number (4) in the poll, but my habits are more like yours. I also agree that the poll is not scientific or likely to be accurate. But the point I was making is that most people do not rush out and buy 10 books, even with a new Sony Reader as a stimulant. People tend to buy 1 or 2 books at a time, read them, and then buy more. Of course, there are those like me who do buy regularly and in larger quantities and have more books waiting to be read than years left with which to read them, but that is not the book-buying norm. I simply do not find the book sales number disturbing. I do, however, find the sales number for the Reader itself encouraging.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:37 PM   #9
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Although Waterstone's might have a wide selection of pbooks, I don't think their ebook selection is very good right now, just by browsing their website. That would easily explain the 75,000 to 30,000 ratio. The new owners are probably turning to other ebook sources.

I was more interested in the 30,000 in 4 months sales figure. I think that's pretty good.
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:20 AM   #10
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There are now more retailers selling the Sony Reader, it is in the new Argos catalogue for example, but unfortunately at the higher price of £224. I think they are hoping to beat the Amazon Kindle into the UK market.
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