Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Friday, June 27, 2008
A New Chapter in Bookselling: Social Networking Sites
By Frank Fortunato writing in ecommerce-guide.com, June 24, 2008
Back in 1999, Internet sales accounted for just 5.45 percent of all books sold in the United States, the number grew to 7 percent by 2001, then "stabilized" at 10-12 percent of the total market by 2004, according to analysis by CL King Associated quoted in the New York Times. Since then the market "destabilized" in an upward spiral to the point that Bowkers Pub Track, quoted in Publisher's Weekly, estimated that a full 20 percent of all U. S. book sales in 2007 occurred on the Internet.
While this still leaves 80 percent of book sales occurring elsewhere, (chain and independent brick and mortar stores, live auctions, flea markets, etc.,) the online numbers are formidable: from the $477 million online gross at Barnes & Noble to the $4.63 billion in 2007 sales for Amazon Media, (including books, music and DVDs). Add to this eBay and the other dozen Internet book-selling auction sites, the approximately 20 U. S. and international multi-dealer listing services and the thousands of individual booksellers maintaining their own Web sites, and you have a robust and complicated market.
In fact, a recent Neilsen survey quoted by the BBC indicates that more books are sold on the Internet than any other product. As of early 2008, according to Neilsen, 41 percent of all Internet users have bought books online, a number that is expected to grow going forward.
Read the rest of this interesting piece here.
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