A couple of new surveys reveal some interesting book buying trends. In the bad news category, weekly sales are down 32% from 2011but that’s mostly due to last summer’s Borders sell off, Publishers Weekly reports.
For the week ending July 31, 2011, total print sales were 15,092,000; for the week ending July 29, 2012, total print sales were 10,238,000, according to outlets tracked by BookScan. The steep drop off was the second consecutive week where 2012’s total print sales lagged behind 2011’s–last week (the week ending July 22), print sales were down 22% from the week of July 24, 2011.
In more encouraging news, a study by BISG, the Book Industry Study Group, shows that fewer ebook buyers are buying just ebooks, with the digital-only group declining from 70% in August 2011 to 60% in May 2012. Meanwhile, consumers who had no preferences or purchased books in digital AND print rose from 25% percent to 34%. That would suggest that the greater book reading community is finding some of the same phenomena as the comics industry, with wider digital distribution spurring people to say, “Gee, I’d like to hold something in my hand.”
Surprisingly, the iPad is NOT the most popular device reading books. That place goes to the Kindle Fire tablet, with ownership increasing among survey respondents from 7% in December 2011 to 20% in May.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.