Verso Digital's 2010 Survey of Book-Buying Behavior, presented last week at Digital Book World, the new version of the same survey that Jack McKeown presented at the Winter Institute a year ago in San Jose, Calif., is available online in a "mini-slide show" version. This survey was conducted last November and December and focuses on e-readers and e-books. Among the findings:
- E-reader ownership has nearly tripled in a year, to almost 8%, and is likely to reach 13%-15% this year.
- There is huge chunk of readers who don't want to use e-readers: 49% of respondents said it was unlikely they would buy an e-reader.
- Some 90% of e-reader owners will continue to purchase print books.
- E-reader owners are splitting purchases almost evenly between e-books and print books, with an average of 7.2 a year.
- 80.7% of respondents said they were very likely or somewhat likely to buy e-books from independent booksellers if titles are priced competitively.
- A "robust, hybrid (print and e-book) market will endure for many years."
- Predictions of 50% e-book penetration by 2014 are "highly inflated and ignore the persistence of consumer preferences for print."
- Predictions for the demise of 90% of bricks-and-mortar bookstores within 10 years are "grossly misleading."
- Independent bookstores have "a significant opportunity to convert mindshare to marketshare in the e-book space."
PublicAffair's 25,000-copy printing of an authorized paperback version of The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report went on sale last week and has already sold well at Kramerbooks in Washington, D.C., and Amazon.com, which ran out of the copies yesterday, the New York Times wrote.
The book is the report of the federal commission that looked into the causes of the financial crisis of 2008. There is also an e-book version and the report is available for free online.
PublicAffairs founder and editor-at-large Peter Osnos commented: "What we wanted to see was whether a significant public document like this, in the digital age, would still find demand in a book. And the answer is yes."
PublicAffairs, which also published The Starr Report in 1998, turned around the book quickly: it received the finished manuscript of the 576-page book about three weeks before the book shipped out.
Today St. Martin's Press is releasing President Obama's speech at the memorial service in Tucson, Ariz., as an e-book for 99 cents, the New York Times reported. Called What Is Best for America, the speech is in the public domain.
Congratulations to Curious Cup, a new children's bookstore in Carpinteria, Calif., near Santa Barbara, which is open and is holding a grand opening celebration this coming Saturday, February 5, from 1-5 p.m. The party will feature "authors, music, art... and much more."
Curious Cup carries books for children of all ages, multicultural and multilingual titles as well as a limited selection of adult books, including Spanish fiction. The store also stocks puzzles, toys, cards and journals and has a community room with space for birthday parties, book clubs, writing clubs and classes.
Owner Kiona Gross, who had worked at CNN in Atlanta, was inspired by the Little Shop of Stories, the children's bookstore in Decatur, Ga. In a story in Sarajun, the online women's magazine, she recounted the odyssey that led her from a corporate job to founding her dream store, which she did after attending BEA and a Paz & Associates' workshop on opening a bookstore--as well as consulting regularly with her cousin, Ellen Eisenberg, owner of the Red Barn of Woodbridge, Conn., which sells clothing, jewelry, gifts, toys, cards and more.
The Curious Cup is located at 929 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, Calif. 93013; email@example.com; 805-220-6608.
The Chicago Tribune has a short profile of Polonia Bookstore, "America's largest Polish-American bookstore," in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago. Owner Mira Puacz, whose late husband founded the store in 1969, said, "The idea was to make the place as a center of Polish culture."
Polonia has a café and travel agency. Half the books in the store are fiction, and a majority are in Polish. Polonia also has maps, Polish greeting cards and films.
"Local independent booksellers are still fighting the good fight--and winning" was the headline for a Pioneer Press
feature on Minneapolis-St. Paul area booksellers, noting: "Strong indie
bookstores contributed to the Twin Cities' rankings in Central
Connecticut State University's list of most literate cities. The annual
study included six criteria, one of which was the number of bookstores per capita. Minneapolis came in third; St. Paul was seventh."
the secrets to indie success cited were "hiring knowledgeable staff,
selling books off-site, making available books that are hard to find in
chain stores and working to become part of their communities," the Pioneer Press wrote.
"A good local bookstore is like a good local bar, where everybody knows your name," said Sue Zumberge, manager of Common Good Books.
The increasing importance and popularity of shop local movements was another critical factor mentioned by several booksellers.
are recognizing the limits of shopping online, where you have to know
what you're looking for," said Hans Weyandt, co-owner of Micawbers Books.
"My favorite thing, which happens in our store on a regular basis, is
when a customer says, 'I had no idea this book existed.' That's why you
need a knowledgeable staff."
manager Susan White added, "This buy local-spend local trend has been
building for several years, and we are benefiting from it. Customers who
think about where they want dollars to go purposely come to us, even
though it's out of the way for some."
The e-book sales option for
indies is gaining national attention with the debut of the Google
eBookstore. Michele Cromer-Poire, co-owner of the Red Balloon Bookshop
said, "We've been selling e-books a long time, and with publicity
surrounding the Google website, we are hoping things pick up. We want
our customers to have options and understand they can get e-books from
us at prices competitive with big retailers. But e-books are only a part
of the mix. I don't think picture books are ever going to go away."
Jay Peterson, manager at Magers & Quinn Booksellers,
envisions two models of independent bookstores surviving: "One model is
like Birchbark and Micawbers--small, strong stores that do a great job
of picking books for their neighbors and the neighbors are supportive.
Our model is the other--a mix of new, used, rare and bargain books that
covers a lot of price points and a lot of breadth."
Giff opened the Dinosaur's Paw children's bookstore, Fairfield, Conn.,
in 1990 to escape his Wall Street job and hasn't regretted the decision:
"[Now] everyone I deal with is nice. It's just a laid-back, nice, easy
The Daily Fairfield
noted that the bookshop is named in part after a book by the owner's
mother, two-time Newbery Award-winner Patricia Reilly Giff, and "because
family-owned bookstores--especially ones limiting their customer base
to kids at the middle school level and below--are facing the same
dilemma the dinosaurs faced millions of years ago: Evolve, or die out."
Flavorwire showcased the 10 Greatest Child Geniuses in Literature
and asked: "What is the deal with our culture's preoccupation--literary
and otherwise--with kid geniuses? Is it that we all secretly wish we
were still children--but with our adult intellect intact? Is it that we
think a child with remarkable abilities but with age-appropriate
innocence is our last best hope?"
Book trailer of the day: You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), which is being released tomorrow.
Mary Allen has been promoted to director of events and publicity at Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt. She has been marketing assistant at the store and earlier worked in events planning and marketing with Orvis, Wolf Films, and Ewing and Associates in Prague, Czech Republic. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allen replaces Zachary Marcus, longtime events director, who is returning to his writing and production work at Maverick Media Projects. He may be reached at email@example.com.