Nielsen Now Tracks eBook Sales for an Unknown Number of UK Publishers, Making Up an Unknown Share of the UK eBook Market

11442225495_177fd46018_hToday in sooper sekret publishing news …

On Tuesday Nielsen announced a new monthly sales report on the UK ebook market. PubTrack Digital UK closely mirrors Nielsen’s existing PubTrack Digital report in that it collates ebook sales data submitted by a limited number of publishers and then:

Nielsen Book ingests, validates and amalgamates the data to report on bestseller lists, genre trends and author performance starting from January 2012 providing robust data for a period of four years. Users access the database via a convenient web-based portal which allows them to search for e-book sales, trended by month or since release date (if after January 2012) across all platforms and participating publishers – a first for the UK book market.

You may have read about this report yesterday in The Bookseller. I held off from reporting on this story so I could get the press release (PDF) and ask for more info.

Alas, Nielsen isn’t sharing the important info. They are not saying how many publishers submit data, or what percentage of the UK ebook market the publishers represent.

Those two details are important because Nielsen’s data is often misreported as representing the entire market. As you may remember, Nielsen had previously claimed that PubTrack Digital represented 85% of the US ebook market, when in fact other sources show that Nielsen was tracking far less than half of the US ebook market.

I point this out not to attack Nielsen but to encourage you to ask about the completeness and validity of their data when it is announced at a conference or in a press release. (I might not think to do so.)

Also, if and when the data from the new UK report is made public, don’t forget to go back and read the Author Earnings Report for the UK. Two data sets is always better than one, and AE’s algorithmic calculations will give a different view of the market from Nielsen’s statistical approach.

P.S. In related news, The Bookseller has today “launched an independent author e-book sales tracker, inviting authors and small digital publishers whose e-book sales data currently goes unreported to complete a simple online form designed to capture their 2015 e-book sales information”.

image by LendingMemo

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

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