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Archive for the ‘eBook Stats’ Category

This survey includes seven of the top eBook venues. The number of books shown for each site is the total that site classifies as romance on their main “browse all romance” page. Venues are listed in order of numbers of books.

Why Follow Inventory at eBook Retailers?

Inventory can be interpreted as a form of market reach. Liken it to WalMart. As much as you might prefer a smaller store for its atmosphere and more unique offerings, sooner or later a store with fewer items on its shelves isn’t going to have what you need. You may resist, standing by your favorite, but if you want something you want something, and you’ll go to the store that has it. You might even decide to switch stores permanently, or visit your old store less frequently.

That said, the exact nature of each retailer’s inventory is also a factor. In this analogy that might apply to the mix of publishers or eBook formats a store carries. For instance, ePub could overtake all other formats in terms of numbers of downloads, but not be available at the store with the largest inventory. Thus, in the end, the store without ePub might lose out.

Though B&N is this week’s winner in terms of percentages, it added only 80 new titles, while Amazon more than tripled that. What I would love to know is the source of new titles for each retailer, broken down into percentages (i.e. New York publishers, small presses, self-pubs, public domain books).

How much does the Kindle self-pub program add to Amazon’s romance inventory numbers? Is it a meaningful part of the equation, or does Amazon’s continued lead in eBooks available stem primarily from its position in the larger online marketplace?

Amazon.com (Kindle) 19,835 titles (19,576 last week) 1.32% increase (259 new titles)
Formats:
DTP format for the Kindle, iPhone, and iPod

All Romance eBooks 18,823 titles (18,728 last week) 0.51% increase (95 new titles)
Formats: Adobe PDF eBook, MSReader, HTML, Mobipocket, Palm DOC/iSolo, Franklin eBookMan, Hiebook, Rocketbook, Open eBook.

Books On Board 13,843 titles (13,670 last week) 1.26% increase (173 new titles)
Formats: ePub, Secure Adobe Editions (ADE), eReaders, MSReader, Mobipocket.

The eBook Store (Sony) 11,872 titles (11,821 last week) 0.43% increase (51 new titles)
Formats: EBL for Sony Reader and PC

Fictionwise 11,500 titles (11,456 last week) 0.38% increase (44 new titles)
Formats: Gemstar/Rocket eBooks, Adobe Reader, MobiPocket, MS Reader, eReader

eBooks.com 9,575 titles (9,502 last week) 0.77% increase (73 new titles)
Formats: MS Reader, Mobipocket Reader, Adobe Digital Editions

Barnes and Noble 4,654 titles (4,574 last week) 1.75% increase (80 new titles)
Formats: iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, PC, Mac

Note: In many cases, figures will include eBooks that also have print editions. Breaking out electronic-only editions from the totals isn’t feasible.

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This survey includes seven of the top eBook venues. The number of books shown for each site is the total that site classifies as romance on their main “browse all romance” page. Venues are listed in order of numbers of books.

Another quiet week in eBook retailer inventory…

While the big eBook story this week happened in the thriller/mystery genre with Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol making eBook history when its Kindle edition outsold the print version at Amazon.com, happenings in the romance sector were decidedly quiet. None of the retailers on the list broke the 1% mark in new titles added to their inventories, which is not unexpected in the middle of the month. eBooks.com added no new titles, while All Romance added the most at 111. On a percentage basis, Fictionwise was the week’s winner, increasing its inventory by 0.85%.

Amazon.com (Kindle) 19,576 titles (19,477 last week) 0.51% increase (99 new titles)
Formats:
DTP format for the Kindle, iPhone, and iPod

All Romance eBooks 18,728 titles (18,617 last week) 0.6% increase (111 new titles)
Formats: Adobe PDF eBook, MSReader, HTML, Mobipocket, Palm DOC/iSolo, Franklin eBookMan, Hiebook, Rocketbook, Open eBook.

Books On Board 13,670 titles (13,620 last week) 0.37% increase (50 new titles)
Formats: ePub, Secure Adobe Editions (ADE), eReaders, MSReader, Mobipocket.

The eBook Store (Sony) 11,821 titles (11,786 last week) 0.3% increase (35 new titles)
Formats: EBL for Sony Reader and PC

Fictionwise 11,456 titles (11,359 last week) 0.85% increase (97 new titles)
Formats: Gemstar/Rocket eBooks, Adobe Reader, MobiPocket, MS Reader, eReader

eBooks.com 9,502 titles (9,502 last week) 0.0% increase (0 new titles)
Formats: MS Reader, Mobipocket Reader, Adobe Digital Editions

Barnes and Noble 4,574 titles (4,540 last week) 0.75% increase (34 new titles)
Formats: iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, PC, Mac

Note: In many cases, figures will include eBooks that also have print editions. Breaking out electronic-only editions from the totals isn’t feasible.

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In an encouraging sign for the future of eBooks, the Kindle book of  bestseller is outselling the print version at Amazon.com. Dan Brown’s new title, The Lost Symbol, an action mystery about Freemasons in Washington D.C., is flying off the virtual shelves.

The news comes via Bookseller.com, which quotes Kindle eBook guru Stephen Windwalker:

Maybe that isn’t the biggest story of 2009 in the world of reading. But I am having trouble imagining what could be bigger.

The news is especially impressive given that Brown’s latest novel set one-day sales records yesterday for publisher Random House , selling more than any other of their previous titles in the U.S. and U.K.

I wonder when that latest Nora Roberts or Christine Feehan might do the same, with eBook sales blowing away print? Though there are still more male book buyers downloading eBooks than female buyers, which might explain Brown’s book as being the first to reach this milestone, my guess is that it won’t be that long, before a romance novel achieves this feat.

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One of the most frustrating problems for romance authors and author hopefuls is not how to write something, but what to write and how to find people, ideally lots of people, who will buy it. Some authors excel at the business and marketing side of the writing biz, while others loath it and just want to be left alone to do their work.

Personally, I hate marketing. Why? Because it’s extremely complex and considering the vast array of ways people communicate with each other these days, there’s just so damn much of it. If you’ve ever visited a writers forum and taken a look at the signatures of the various posters to that forum, you may have noticed it’s common for an author to include links to websites, multiple blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other assorted “content streams.” All of that has to be built and maintained, and it’s a helluva lot of work, time that’s pulled away from what many writers prefer to do, write.

Some experts claim that no amount of marketing an author does, and this includes book signings and tours, will increase that authors sales. Others believe it’s crucial to engage in as many activities that put your name in front of readers as you can. Most authors have the option of leaving all publicity efforts up to their publishers, but it’s becoming increasingly rare to find an author who doesn’t have at least a bare bones website or blog.

Even if the subject of market trends makes your brain want to shut down, it pays to have at least a passing knowledge of them. Who is buying books now and why? How are they buying books? Where are they buying books? What are they buying? How can you use this knowledge to sell your books to them?

More importantly, where is the market going to be one, two, five years from now? You may wonder, am I going to be left in the dust if I don’t pay attention?

Lucienne Diver, an agent with The Knight Agency, gave the keynote address at the Heritage Book Festival in St. Augustine, Florida last week, a speech that addressed many of these questions. “New Publishing Paradigms,” is now posted on her blog. I liken it to the publishing version of a fold-out pocket map of a foreign city.

Some nuggets:

  • Reading among adults and teens is actually on the rise for the first time since 1982
  • Some companies are experimenting with enhanced eBooks, which do more than simply deliver words on the screen
  • Audio downloads of books are currently outselling eBooks
  • You can’t have a bestseller without having people talk about your books (handselling), and much, if not most, communication occurs online
  • Viral marketing is the “big buzzword,” (i.e. friends emailing links to friends who forward the links, etc.)
  • Serialized novels are becoming popular
  • Some print publishers are experimenting with a low advance/50% of monies earned model
  • Dark and sensual is currently outselling humorous and light (odd given the depressing economy)

This is only a brief list. I’ve left out many of Driver’s other important facts and insights. Some of you may already have much of the information in this address, but I’m willing to bet you’ll find a helpful surprise or two.

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This survey includes seven of the top eBook venues. The number of books shown for each site is the total that site classifies as romance on their main “browse all romance” page. Venues are listed in order of numbers of books.

A relatively slow week…

…for the online book retailers in terms of new titles added, which isn’t surprising since the beginning of the month additions to inventory have already been factored in. Though the stats feature has only been running since 7.11.09, and it’s too early to point toward long term trends, here are some raw numbers for the two major combatants in the eBook wars:

During the last nine weeks, Amazon has added 1942 new romance titles to its Kindle Store, an increase of 11.07%. Sony, meanwhile, has added just 752 romance titles, an increase of 6.82%.

Amazon.com (Kindle) 19,477 titles (19,421 last week) 0.29% increase (56 new titles)
Formats:
DTP format for the Kindle, iPhone, and iPod

All Romance eBooks 18,617 titles (18,546 last week) 0.38% increase(71 new titles)
Formats: Adobe PDF eBook, MSReader, HTML, Mobipocket, Palm DOC/iSolo, Franklin eBookMan, Hiebook, Rocketbook, Open eBook.

Books On Board 13,620 titles (13,493 last week) 0.94% increase (127 new titles)
Formats: ePub, Secure Adobe Editions (ADE), eReaders, MSReader, Mobipocket.

The eBook Store (Sony) 11,786 titles (11,781 last week) 0.04% increase (5 new titles)
Formats: EBL for Sony Reader and PC

Fictionwise 11,359 titles (11,322 last week) 0.33% increase (37 new titles)
Formats: Gemstar/Rocket eBooks, Adobe Reader, MobiPocket, MS Reader, eReader

eBooks.com 9,502 titles (9,334 last week) 1.80% increase (168 new titles)
Formats: MS Reader, Mobipocket Reader, Adobe Digital Editions

Barnes and Noble 4,540 titles (4,523 last week) 0.38% increase (17 new titles)
Formats: iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, PC, Mac

Note: In many cases, figures will include eBooks that also have print editions. Breaking out electronic-only editions from the totals isn’t feasible.

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This survey includes seven of the top eBook venues. The number of books shown for each site is the total that site classifies as romance on their main “browse all romance” page. Venues are listed in order of numbers of books.

Some strange numbers this week…Books on Board appears to have actually lost ground in terms of the romance titles available on their site, dropping by 3.17%, at least according to screen shots taken this Friday and last Friday. Perhaps they’ve made some changes to the way fiction is categorized on the site?

Meanwhile, Sony’s eBookstore experienced the largest percentage increase in new titles this week, a first for that retailer since the stats reports began here almost two months ago. In terms of sheer numbers, Amazon led with 315 new titles.

Amazon.com (Kindle) 19,421 titles (19,106 last week) 1.64% increase (315 new titles)
Formats:
DTP format for the Kindle, iPhone, and iPod

All Romance eBooks 18,546 titles (18,379 last week) 0.91% increase (167 new titles)
Formats: Adobe PDF eBook, MSReader, HTML, Mobipocket, Palm DOC/iSolo, Franklin eBookMan, Hiebook, Rocketbook, Open eBook.

Books On Board 13,493 titles (13,935 last week) 3.17% decrease (460 fewer titles)
Formats: ePub, Secure Adobe Editions (ADE), eReaders, MSReader, Mobipocket.

The eBook Store (Sony) 11,781 titles (11,556 last week) 1.95% increase (225 new titles)
Formats: EBL for Sony Reader and PC

Fictionwise 11,322 titles (11,187 last week) 1.21% increase (135 new titles)
Formats: Gemstar/Rocket eBooks, Adobe Reader, MobiPocket, MS Reader, eReader

eBooks.com 9,334 titles (9,334 last week) 0.0% increase (no new titles)
Formats: MS Reader, Mobipocket Reader, Adobe Digital Editions

Barnes and Noble 4,523 titles (4,476 last week) 1.05% increase (47 new titles)
Formats: iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, PC, Mac

Note: In many cases, figures will include eBooks that also have print editions. Breaking out electronic-only editions from the totals isn’t feasible.

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This survey includes seven of the top eBook venues. The number of books shown for each site is the total that site classifies as romance on their main “browse all romance” page. Venues are listed in order of numbers of books.

Barnes & Noble, noticeably behind other retailers when introduced to the Stats last week, apparently is working rapidly to make up lost ground, with a near 4% week-over-week jump in titles offered, the largest increase yet for this feature on Kindling Romance.

Amazon.com (Kindle) 19,106 titles (18,902 last week) 1.08% increase
Formats:
DTP format for the Kindle, iPhone, and iPod

All Romance eBooks 18,379 titles (18,192 last week) 1.03% increase
Formats: Adobe PDF eBook, MSReader, HTML, Mobipocket, Palm DOC/iSolo, Franklin eBookMan, Hiebook, Rocketbook, Open eBook.

Books On Board 13,935 titles (13,793 last week) 1.03% increase
Formats: ePub, Secure Adobe Editions (ADE), eReaders, MSReader, Mobipocket.

The eBook Store (Sony) 11,556 titles (11,456 last week) 0.87% increase
Formats: EBL for Sony Reader and PC

Fictionwise 11,187 titles (11,145 last week) 0.38% increase
Formats: Gemstar/Rocket eBooks, Adobe Reader, MobiPocket, MS Reader, eReader

eBooks.com 9,334 titles (9,182 last week) 1.65% increase
Formats: MS Reader, Mobipocket Reader, Adobe Digital Editions

Barnes and Noble 4,476 titles (4,304 last week) 3.996% increase
Formats: iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, PC, Mac

Note: In many cases, figures will include eBooks that also have print editions. Breaking out electronic-only editions from the totals isn’t feasible.

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