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Canadian ebook sales plateau in 2014

From Publishers Weekly on September 19th, “publishers say that e-book sales in Canada have plateaued. BookNet’s Noah Genner says that BookNet has “paused” its consumer panel survey research on e-reading because the growth in digital books seems to have paused. “The numbers we’re hearing for e-book unit sales is still around 17%, 18%, 20%, that kind of range,” he says, noting that the rates vary considerably depending on genre. “We know for the genre categories inside fiction, some of [the rates of e-reading] are quite high.””

The article includes comments from publishers and notes that sales are high for certain titles.

Posted in Publishers, Retail.

eBooks third in US sales

Publishers Weekly reports that eBooks rank third in unit sales by format at 23% for the first half of 2014 based on data from Nielsen’s books and consumers survey. Paperbacks are most popular at 42% and hardcovers are just 2% ahead of ebooks, at 25%.

Within the specific categories of adult fiction and young adult fiction, ebooks represented 30% of unit sales, while among children’s sales excluding YA, ebooks represented 13%.

Posted in Publishers, Retail.

New study on ereader vs print comprehension

From the Guardian on August 19: “A new study which found that readers using a Kindle were “significantly” worse than paperback readers at recalling when events occurred in a mystery story is part of major new Europe-wide research looking at the impact of digitisation on the reading experience.

The study, presented in Italy at a conference last month and set to be published as a paper, gave 50 readers the same short story by Elizabeth George to read. Half read the 28-page story on a Kindle, and half in a paperback, with readers then tested on aspects of the story including objects, characters and settings.”

Posted in Devices.

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Early report from pilot shows libraries drive sales

A UK library eBook pilot showed that of 464 books loaned through the public libraries participating, patrons bought 20 books. The pilot launched in March 2014 and is planned for one year.

Posted in Libraries, Publishers, Retail.

eBook vs. Paper: a thoughtful discussion

Financial Times recently posted an interesting discussion of the varying research on whether reading on paper or screen is better, identifying why it’s still too early to make this judgment.

Posted in Devices.

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eBooks in Canada: The Next Chapter — webinar Tuesday, July 8

Join Christina de Castell from Vancouver Public Library for a one-hour webinar “E-books in Canada: The Next Chapter” about eBooks in public libraries on Tuesday, July 8 at 12pm Eastern/9am Pacific, offered by the Education Institute.

Hear the latest news on the e-book advocacy front and get up-to-date on this fast moving area of public library collections. Topics covered will include research from the publishing industry, consumer trends, and an overview of the e-book products entering the Canadian library market, including the latest news from ALA.

Key benefits:
- Get caught up on research and developments in the Canadian and international e-book industry
- Find out how children and teens are using e-books
- Learn about new trends and products coming to market

Christina de Castell is Director, Resources & Technology at Vancouver Public Library, where she is responsible for oversight of service and strategy for technology, collection development, digital services and technical services. A member of the CULC eBook Task Force since its inception in 2010, IFLA’s eLending Working Group, and the leadership group of ReadersFirst, Christina is a regular speaker on e-book and technology topics.

Register online via the Education Institute.

Posted in Libraries.

New OverDrive features

OverDrive announced a number of new features at the ALA Conference, including:

  • new licensing models including always available on more titles and cost-per-checkout for patron driven acquisition, initially on movie content
  • catalogues of graphic novels, manga and new children’s ebooks and picturebooks in EPUB3 with fixed layout
  • the ability to migrate titles from Advantage libraries to consortia when they’re no longer as popular
  • audio narration features
  • the elimination of the Adobe activation step in August
  • new content in EPUB3 format in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and others, as well as interfaces in these languages

The above features and new streaming movie content will be available in Canada. So far, the Simon & Schuster content is not available in Canada. New content providers that are available in Canada include Penguin Canada, Dorling Kindersley, Wimpy Kid, and Warner Brothers.

OverDrive also presented interesting new promotional options to integrate excerpts from books into websites, including a widget so libraries can do this themselves.

Posted in Libraries, Vendors.

Digital sales outstrip bricks & mortar in US

The reports that unit sales online are now ahead of sales from bookstores and other physical locations. The study from the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group also found that trade paperbacks remain the number one trade format from traditional publishers. The report does not discuss the impact of self-published content, which would not be included in the study.

Posted in Publishers, Retail.

Will e-readers disappear? Nook spins off from Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble has announced that it is spinning off its Nook division to a separate company. New York Magazine reflects on the future of reading on phones and tablets with constant distractions and alternative choices, and predicts the likely end of dedicated e-readers. They include the following:

“”E-readers are looking like the next iPod,” Mashable writes today, noting that smartphones and tablets with e-reader apps are poised to cannibalize sales of dedicated e-readers in the same way that the iPhone – which had all the capabilities of an iPod, plus calling and texting and tons of other apps – killed its single-feature predecessor.”

Posted in Devices, Publishers.

New interface for Gale eBooks

Gale eBook collections now have a new, print-style look for online reading, announced on their blog last week. The view displays as PDF, but the full searching and other features of a research database are still available.

Posted in Publishers, Vendors.