I’m hip-deep in manuscripts this morning, but wanted to pass along a couple of items. First, Publishers Weekly has an interesting story about the breakdown of e-book purchases on the iPad. I say “interesting” based on the earlier announcement by Apple that it had rejected the Sony app and all the speculation about how that might impact the Kindle, B&N and other e-reader apps currently available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
According to the PW article, e-book purchases by iPad owners breaks down this way: 40% from Amazon’s kindle store, 29% from Apple’s iBookstore, 12% from B&N’s nook bookstore, and 19% from other sources. That’s a total of 71% of e-books purchased by iPad owners coming from sources other than iTunes and the iBookstore. Perhaps it isn’t any wonder that Apple is looking for ways to direct sales back to the iBookstore.
The article goes on to discuss how publishers are using social media to promote their books and authors and how it really isn’t effective — yet. “. . .while publishers are spending lots of time and money promoting books and authors through social media, few book buyers are learning about books from sources such as search engines, social networks, and Twitter, even though more book buyers use Google and Facebook (but not so much Twitter) than any other media by far. Fewer than 2% of book shoppers said they learned about the last book they bought through these major digital media.” It’s pointed out how promotional trailers are made and thrown up on YouTube without an effective strategy for getting viewers to it.
Basically, bookstores — and book departments in big box stores and grocery stores, etc — are still where most readers discover books or authors they want to read. So, until publishers figure out how to effectively use social media to reach their customers, they need to protect the physical stores. Besides, I love bookstores and don’t want to see them disappear.
On a more depressing note, there’s more news on the Borders front. Last Friday, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., filed notice with the SEC that it would “will take a pre-tax bad debt charge of $9 million in its third quarter of fiscal 2011 in regard to what it is owed by Borders. Wiley said it made the decision to take the charge, ‘based upon the status of our current business relationship with Borders Group Inc. and potential future adverse financial events that may affect this customer.'” Because of Borders’ financial issues, Wiley stopped shipping books to Borders in December.
One last note. I’m hearing some good rumblings from the editorial board as they discuss some of the submissions received last month. If you sent us something last month, you should hear back by March 1st. If you haven’t heard by the 7th, please drop us a line at submissions-at-nakedreader-dot-com.