The Book Industry Study Group presented a high level overview of the recent surveys they have been conducting at TOC today, and it was neat to finally get some numbers to back up the feelings I've gotten from the market.
The survey was conducted in partnership with PubTrack, a business intelligence company. Not all of the results were presented, but what we saw was intriguing. One thing I learned from this is not to put to much stock in this data; there is no background -no history- to compare it to.
BISG has run the survey twice so far, in November and January.They got about 1200 responses in November, and 1600 in January. This is from a survey pool of 40k to 45k American consumers. Some of the resultsthey got were:
- a greater percentage of men read ebooks than read paper
- readers of ebook are a richer, more urban group than comparable paper book reader
- over half of respondents started reading ebooks in the last year
- PC and Kindle were the most heavily used reading devices by far(44% and 36% respectively)
- 54% of respondents will either wait for the ebook version or buy the hardcover
- a third of respondents aren't bothered by DRM
They also noted that the results seem to suggest that ebooks see the same seasonal swing as paper books.