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Trade E-Book Publishing 2010


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Last year, Simba presented Trade E-Book Publishing 2009, the only report to date that’s put the e-book market into a proper perspective. Simba took the microphone away from voices that have a stake in the future of e-books and presented independent and myth-busting analysis on the most talked about (but most unknown) segment of trade books.

Once again, Simba takes e-book questions directly to consumers in the form of an exclusive survey of 1,880 U.S. adults and combines it with additional analysis. In our second year of polling a nationally representative sample of adults, Trade E-Book Publishing 2010 will see just how much has changed in the market in one year—and what will be in store for the one ahead. This new edition includes definitive analysis of the devices on which e-books are read, the results of a Kindle owner’s survey administered in December 2009, an extensive category analysis, updated demographic data of e-book buyers, and much, much more.

New to this edition is a section on price sensitivity of e-books, as well as updated information on last year’s report, which determined 8% of the U.S. adult population bought at least one e-book in the prior 12-month period.

The report also provides demographic intelligence about the e-book consumer—including gender, age, household income, education level and more. Simba has also studied the average number of e-books read by consumers of the format and compared it to what is known about the consumption of print titles.

Trade E-Book Publishing 2010 also features trends and pitfalls in the marketplace, key publisher and retailer initiatives, new psychographic details of consumers and a thorough device analysis.


Stamford, CT—April 14, 2010—Simba Information, the market research firm specializing in publishing and media, has unveiled the real e-book competition to the iPad according to the second annual report, Trade E-Book Publishing 2010, which was released today. According to Simba’s nationally representative survey of over 1,880 adults, the PC has again been named the No. 1 e-book reading device, named by 68% of e-book users nationwide as the most frequently used device to consume an e-book.

“There’s a mistaken belief that consumers are the most interested in dedicated reading devices, but it’s not true,” said Michael Norris, senior analyst of Simba Information, commenting on the report. “Since we know most book consumers only purchase a tiny number of titles in a given year, you could assume a $300 gadget to read a $6 paperback doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. For the second year in a row, we can back that assumption up.”

The PC, as Norris points out, also had a big head start over dedicated devices like Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s nook. The PC is also very common and public transit commuters often have one with them anyway (and may read a book on their computers at the office while pretending to work).

“Dedicated devices have been chipping at the PC’s lead for a while,” added Norris. “For the iPad to get any sort of dominance, it needs to become very popular very fast among the PC crowd and not necessarily the dedicated device crowd.”

Trade E-Book Publishing 2010 drew much of its analysis from a Simba Information survey of over 1,880 U.S. adults administered in February and March 2010, as well as over a year’s worth of bestseller analysis from the e-bookstore of Sony, Amazon and others. The report compares the top categories of each bookstore to one another and to national print bestseller lists to determine what kinds of e-books consumers are demanding, and contains an analysis of pricing strategies. New to this edition is a section on price sensitivity of e-books, as well as updated information on last year’s report, which determined 8% of the U.S. adult population bought at least one e-book in the prior 12-month period.

The report also provides demographic intelligence about the e-book consumer—including gender, age, household income, education level and more. Simba has also studied the average number of e-books read by consumers of the format and compared it to what is known about the consumption of print titles.

Trade E-Book Publishing 2010 also features trends and pitfalls in the marketplace, key publisher and retailer initiatives, new psychographic details of consumers and a thorough device analysis.

About Simba Information:

Simba Information is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry. Simba's extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the media and information industry. Simba provides consulting and reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies around the globe with timely analysis, exclusive statistics and proprietary industry forecasts.

  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Analog Door, Digital Window
    • Table E-Book Overview: Percentage of U.S. Adults Who Have Read/Purchased an E- Book in the Last 12 Months
    • Table U.S. Wholesale Electronic Book Sales, 2004-2009
    • Table Total U.S. Trade Book and Electronic Book Net Sales, 2004-2009
  • Trends & User Demographics in the E-Book Marketplace
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Customer Trends for Print Books
    • Table Number of E-Books Read in Past 12 Months (2008)
    • Table Number of E-Books Read in Past 12 Months (2009)
    • Table Psychographic Analysis: E-Book Users vs. Non E-Book Users: Buying and Reading Print Books (Agree)
    • Table Overview of Book Purchasing Population (U.S. Adults): Hardcover's One-Year Slide
    • Table Psychographic Analysis: E-Book Users vs. Non E-Book Users Agree)
    • Table Number of E-Books Acquired Free from Library and Non-Library Sources (Past 12 Months)
    • Table Average Price, Top 25 and Top 100 Bestsellers, January - December 2009
    • Table Average Price, Top 100 Bestsellers, January-December 2009
    • Table Best Performing Books with Prices, 2008-2009
    • Table Select Price Changes for Bestselling Titles, 2009
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Gender
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Age Group/Generation
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Marital Status
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Children in Household
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Employment Status
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Educational Attainment
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Race/Ethnicity
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Urban vs. Suburban/Rural Locale
    • Table E-Book Demographics by Household Income Bracket
    • Table 2009 Composite List Overview
    • Table Top 50 Titles, Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader Only, January-December 2009
    • Table Top 50 Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Top 20 Titles, Amazon Kindle, January-December 2009
    • Table Top 20 Titles, Sony Reader, January-December 2009
    • Table Top 20 Titles, Barnes & Noble Nook, August-December 2009
    • Table Top 20 Titles, eReader.com, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestseller List Category Comparison
    • Table Top 50 New Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Top 50 Authors, January-December 2009
    • Table Top 50 Imprints, January-December 2009
    • Table Class Share of Bestsellers, 2009
    • Table Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Series by Consolidated Rating, July 2008-December 2009
  • Trade E-Book Publishing: Category Analysis
    • Table Amazon Kindle Categories by Total Growth, December 2008-December 2009
    • Table Sony Reader Categories by Total Growth, December 2008-December 2009
    • Table eReader.com Categories by Total Growth, Part One December 2008-October 2009
    • Table eReader.com Categories by Total Growth, Part Two November-December 2009
    • Table Barnes & Noble Nook Categories by Total Growth, August-December 2009
    • Table Top 20 Trade Book Categories, January-December 2009
    • Table Top 20 Electronic Book Categories, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Advice & How-To Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Advice & How-To on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Biographies & Memoir Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Biographies & Memoirs on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Business & Investing Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Business & Investing on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Children's Chapter Books, January-December 2009
    • Table Children's Chapter Books on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Cooking, Travel & Wine Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Cooking, Travel & Wine on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Fantasy Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Fantasy on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Fiction Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Fiction on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling History Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table History on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Humor Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Humor on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Lifestyle & Home Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Lifestyle & Home on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Literary Fiction on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Literary Fiction Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Mystery & Thriller Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Mystery & Thrillers on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Politics & Current Events on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Politics & Current Events Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Reference on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Reference Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Religion & Spirituality Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Religion & Spirituality on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Romance Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Romance on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Science Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Science on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Science Fiction Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Science Fiction on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Sports Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Sports on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
    • Table Bestselling Travel Titles, January-December 2009
    • Table Travel on Bestseller Lists, January-December 2009
  • BlackBerry, iPhone, Nook, PC: Platforms for E-Book Consumption
    • Table Select Current U.S. E-Book Reading Devices, by Launch Date
    • Table Devices Used to Read E-Books, 2008
    • Table Devices Used to Read E-Books, 2009
  • Recommendations and Conclusions

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