Nielson Author Earnings report

According to a new Nielson Author Earnings report science-fiction and fantasy book buyers have fled the establishment publishers and are flocking to self-published authors. Authors who actually give them what they want (hint: not a lecture on political correctness, disguised as a novel). Who knew?

The report crunches together 2017 sales data from NPD Pubtrack, NPD Bookscan, and Amazon ebook sales…

“SF&F print sales dropped a full 50% since 2009, and have recovered 0% since.” Meanwhile, 48% of all sales “across print, digital, and audio” are now self-published.

Yes, self-publisher “unit prices average just $3.20 compared to traditional publishers’ ebook average of $8.04”. But self-publishing authors are likely seeing more profit than they would with an establishment publisher who pays them their royalty in peanuts.

eReading in the UK: big new National Literacy Trust survey

New research from the UK’s National Literacy Trust. They surveyed 34,910 young people aged eight to 16, and found…

* 39% of young people read daily using electronic devices including tablets and eReaders.

* Nearly all young people have access to a computer at home, and 4 out of 10 now own a tablet or a smartphone.

* 3 in 10 young people do not have a desk of their own.

* Screen reading is not always pleasant for long-form reading. Those who read only on-screen are three times less likely to “enjoy reading very much”.

Post Xmas Kindle sales statistics

Unsurprisingly, it’s said that Kindle sales dropped off a cliff after the Christmas / New Year period — at least according to one canny business analyst who has been tracking e-ink manufacturer inventories and sales…

“he estimates that Amazon was selling around 7 million Kindles per quarter last year. In Q1, he thinks they sold only 1.75 million.”

Actually, only 1.75 million doesn’t sound that bad. Cliff…? or speed bump?

I guess the real figures should be about how many of those holiday season Kindles are gathering dust on a shelf or in a drawer, and how many are in active use. My own Jan-May experience on sales suggests that UK users may have gifted Kindles in bulk, but those Kindles are seeing little use for ebook purchases. Meanwhile, the USA sales are doing well.

Statistics on how readers find out about books online

“How Consumers Discover Books Online”, a February 2012 talk at O’Reilly TOC 2012…

“Otis Chandler, CEO of Goodreads, would like to provide an in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis of consumer behavior in discovering books online. Who is searching for books online? What are their personas? How are they discovering books? How many are they discovering, and how many do they go on to read? Are there strong influencers? What factors can help a book get discovered online? How is the picture different for books in the head vs the long tail?”

Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading

A major new study, Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading. Four take-away facts…

* Market share for ebooks was 16% at the end of summer 2011.

* 51% of ebook buyers don’t buy direct from their ereader device. My guess would be that this is because a good 50% of users simply can’t figure out how to wrangle the setup of the wireless connection to their wi-fi router.

* eReader owners spend more annually on books after they get their device.

* Academic and technical books are twice as likely to be purchased for an iPad as for a Kindle.

Actual Kindle sales figures, officially from Amazon

Amazon has so far kept very quite about Kindle sales. But it has just released a categorical number. Amazon has sold “more than 1 million Kindles per week over the last three weeks”. Now, that’s Kindle readers and Kindle Fire (its iPad wannabe) combined. But if those are new-user sales and each of those buys an average of just five ebooks in 2012, that should boost ebook sales by 15 million copies or so. Which would be nice to see in the UK market, where in my experience sales have collapsed compared to the ever-rising sales coming from the USA.