BTW News Briefs

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
USA Today Bestsellers: E-book Sales Outdo Print

This Thursday’s USA Today “Best-Selling Books” list shows that last week e-book versions of the top six books outsold print versions.  A report in Wednesday’s USA Today noted that among the week’s top 50 bestselling books, nine had higher e-book sales. (“It’s the first time the top-50 list has had more than two titles in which the e-version outsold print,” said USA Today.)

The surge was attributed in part to the “millions of gift-wrapped iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other digital reading devices” received over the holidays.

Whether the trend will continue is unclear. Kelly Gallagher of Bowker said that the e-book surge of the past month isn’t a “sustainable trend,” and sales could flatten this year but still could be twice as high as they were in 2010, according to USA Today.

But Scott Lubeck of the Book Industry Study Group told the newspaper that however the trend toward e-books pans out, “it’s good for readers, and reading is good for publishing,”

E-mail, Search Engines Primary Drivers of Retail Web Traffic

A survey of holiday shoppers conducted by market research firm ForeSee Results found that only five percent of holiday shoppers credited social media channels for driving them to a retailer’s site, according to a recent article in InformationWeek.

The ForeSee study found that, despite heavy investments in social media, e-mail promotions and search-engine results brought most shoppers to the top 40 retailers’ websites.

“Only about five percent of online holiday shoppers report being primarily influenced to visit top retailer sites by social media channels, yet retailers continue to put vast resources into this type of marketing,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. “Meanwhile, 19 percent came to the website primarily as a result of a promotional email and eight percent as a result of search engine results, suggesting that tried-and-true online marketing tactics should not be abandoned or ignored in favor of newer media.”

The number of shoppers using smartphones to access the website or mobile app of a specific retailer, primarily to look up prices, compare product specifics, or do other product research, increased to 14 percent this year, the survey said. A total of 11 percent of survey respondents reported having made a purchase from their phones this holiday season, a figure that is expected to continue trending upward.

BISG Study Finds Strong Preference for Print Textbooks

Although they are tied to social media and cell phones, almost 75 percent of students who responded to a major new research survey from the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) said they prefer printed texts. Respondents cited a fondness for print books’ look and feel, permanence, and ability to be resold for their preference.

E-texts were preferred by about 12 percent of the students surveyed, and they were mostly males who were often MBA-seeking or distance learners, according to the study, which will be presented at BISG’s February 9, 2011 event: “What College Students Think: Making Information Pay for Higher Ed Publishing.”

Ingram Publisher Services Adds Three Clients

ArtsMemphis, The Cooking Lab, and Tharpa Publications are the newest clients of Ingram Publisher Services.

“We look forward to putting our combined full-service distribution and print and digital services to work for each, allowing them to concentrate on content creation and business growth in this time of transformation in publishing,” said Mark Ouimet, vice president and general manager, Ingram Publisher Services.

ArtsMemphis, founded in 1963, raises funds to ensure excellence in the arts and to build a vibrant cultural community in Memphis, Tennessee. The Cooking Lab was founded in 2010 by inventor and culinary and food science expert Dr. Nathan Myhrvold. Tharpa Publications specializes in books on meditation and Buddhism.

W.G. Ellerkamp Recognized for Commitment to Sustainability

W.G. Ellerkamp, ABA’s affinity partner for IndieBound paper and biodegradable plastic bags, was recently featured in the Business Section of the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, which recognized the company for being “committed to sustainability and sourcing product as locally as possible.”

The seven-person company, which operates in a 10,000-square-foot space in Peterborough, New Hampshire, is run by Jack Ellerkamp, the son of the company’s founder.

Part of Ellerkamp’s growing success has come from supplying bags and other paper products to more than 400 IndieBound booksellers, the Ledger-Transcript said, noting that ABA and its help in marking the bags has “spurred Ellerkamp to add some 30 products to its catalog.” Among them is the Graeham Owens line of handmade paper products from Nepal to which Ellerkamp “travels regularly to see the paper made and to make sure the people who make the paper are fairly compensated.”