Print 12 comment(s) - last by Motoman.. on Jul 7 at 6:06 PM

As the e-reader market develops, analysts and companies are able to learn more about potential customers

The Amazon Kindle leads the growing e-reader market, but numerous other competitors are expected to enter the market.  As the market expands, book publishers are still trying to work through royalties, e-book prices, and electronic rights related to shared materials.

An estimated 2.8 million e-readers are in use in the United States -- excluding e-books read on PCs -- with 2009 e-book sales exploding 176.6 percent year-over-year.

E-books make up just 3 percent of books sold, but that number also is expected to increase while consumers become more familiar with e-readers and e-books.

Following traditional print publishing, there are more women e-book readers at the moment, while men favor magazines and newspapers.  Both Sony and Barnes & Noble discovered their products were being used more by older users, but analysts are unsure if this is an industry-wide statistic.

"We're not finding the more-mature trend, and only a very slight tendency for men to own e-readers more than women," Risa Becker, GfK MRI VP of research operations, said earlier in the spring.

Although GfK MRI didn't see a trend towards older consumers, it will be interesting to see if the recent e-reader price cuts are able to bring in a younger audience.  Younger readers may also be waiting for e-book prices to lower and stabilize before purchasing an e-reader and e-books -- though Becker did say e-book users are likely to be college-educated, make more than $100K per year, and are very tech savvy.

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define tech savvy
By zmatt on 7/7/2010 7:59:50 AM , Rating: 3
If you mean by jumping on the latest things because they can than yes. I don't consider that tech savvy, not anymore than owning an iPod in 2003 was tech savvy.

RE: define tech savvy
By fleabag on 7/7/2010 8:11:07 AM , Rating: 2
This comment is apparently spam and we do not allow spam comments

RE: define tech savvy
By TSS on 7/7/2010 8:36:39 AM , Rating: 2
tech savvy? HAH.

i'd imagine the $100k+ a year part is true, though.

RE: define tech savvy
By Homerboy on 7/7/2010 9:12:03 AM , Rating: 3
It is usually used to describe an individual who displays an ability to effectively employ desktop/laptop computers and consumer-level technological gadgets but may also be used for someone who has an affinity for the use of technology within a particular domain or field.

RE: define tech savvy
By Motoman on 7/7/2010 6:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
Note: "affinity for" does not one savvy make. You can have an affinity for lots of things, and not have any clue as to what makes one such item good or bad.

RE: define tech savvy
By Motoman on 7/7/2010 11:47:30 AM , Rating: 2
...if you want a good, working definition of "not tech-savvy" it would basically just be "owns Apple products."

Font size...
By ChugokuOtaku on 7/7/2010 9:02:09 AM , Rating: 4
perhaps having the flexibility to adjust font size on these E-readers results in it having a greater appeal to older folks with deteriorated vision?

RE: Font size...
By rtrski on 7/7/2010 9:35:34 AM , Rating: 2
You might have something here. Someone I know who bought a Kindle II and wears bifocals commented to me that the screen size was a perfect fit for the "sweet spot" in his glasses, while a typical hardback required tilting his head up and down as he was reading the page.

That was a clear plus in his mind, even without the ability to alter font size to perhaps reduce the need to be right 'in' the sweet spot.

By NTB on 7/7/2010 8:55:38 AM , Rating: 2
I actually bought one specifically *for* technical stuff, actually :-P Carrying a Nook around is much easier than lugging a couple phonebook-sized programming references around.

Another thing that helped was O'Reilly's 'e-book daily deals' - $9.99 for the electronic version of a book that would normally cost $40 or more if you bought the printed version. Between that and the discounts O'Reilly gives for people that already *own* paper copies, the Nook has just about paid for itself.

RE: E-readers
By Spivonious on 7/7/2010 9:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
It's nice the O'Reilly does that. One reason I've stayed away from e-readers thus far (aside from the price) is that I'd have to rebuy books I already own to put them on the device. Hopefully Amazon gets smarter and starts including e-versions with physical book purchases.

Savior of the printed word
By Bateluer on 7/7/2010 8:35:32 AM , Rating: 3
I truly believe that the Kindles, nooks, Kobos, etc, will be the savior of the printed word, if publishers let them. Keeping ebook prices higher than the printed version or ladling the e-versions with restrictive DRM will kill these devices before they ever truly take off.

I am curious, however, about advertising revenue in newspapers and magazines. I don't see anyone buying a e-zine or e-paper and reading the ads. Of course, I rarely look at those in printed material either, though I speak only for myself there.

i got a nook
By lenardo on 7/7/2010 9:55:44 AM , Rating: 2
there are 2 main limitations right now to massive ereader adoption

price- still a BIT too high @ $150-200 once they get down to under 99 dollars, then they'll hit impulse purchase price.

cost of books- again most of the publishers have the books too high- currently-

an Ebook should be NO MORE than 5 dollars & 10 dollars for a new "hard cover" release (i'm willing to pay 15 for the hard cover)

so much is taken out of the "process" it is funny that the publishers are saying "the paper part is the least expensive"

when in actuality, if you have a control document made that all your authors MUST FOLLOW - nothing to hinder their work, just you start with -this- document on the computer and just go about your work notating new chapters, then you can reduce the # of people to:
Proof Readers,
Guy that puts it in epub/lit/whatever format (and that is a simple process i can take any document and convert it to ANY ereader format in under 5 seconds, and i do not even work in the field, i just have Calibre.)

that is it, going directly e-reader publishing only would ELIMINATE several steps in the process, including storage, transportation, printing. that is going to take another decade OR two imo penetration of ebooks has to exceed 66% ebooks sold to paperbacks sold (ie you publish "joe goes to school" in both formats, and the ebook version sells best- consistantly)

10 years, is my guess unless the prices drop even more, within 10 years the kids in college will ALL have an ereader/tablet that replaces all their text books. penetration to the lower education levels will take a bit longer, but shouldn't take all that much longer.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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