eReaders Blog

The Future Of Reading

1.2 million e-readers for next Christmas holidays

Posted by admin on November 5, 2009

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Sales of electronic books jumped 68.4 percent last year and skyrocketed 177 percent to $96.6 million for the year through August, according to the Association of American Publishers. That’s not counting the millions downloaded for free at public libraries, where e-books are fast becoming one of the most popular features. And Amazon has said that its e-book reader, the Kindle, has become the best-selling product on its Web site.

But despite the staggering growth, e-books remain just a sliver of the overall publishing industry, at 1.5 percent of the $6.8 billion in sales this year — about on par with audiobooks. And some experts believe that the $200-plus price tag for e-book readers will keep the market from exploding the way MP3s did.

Holiday hopes

This holiday season will be a crucial test of whether e-books can cross over from geeky novelty to mass-market must-have. Major retailers are pushing the format — and, of course, the gadgets they’ve developed to display it. Barnes & Noble unveiled its first electronic book reader last month, with access to all of the retailer’s titles and then some. Amazon and Sony, which make the two best-selling e-readers in the country, have introduced new versions just in time to stuff your stocking. And this holiday, for the first time, Best Buy is devoting store space to educating shoppers about e-readers.

All told, about 1.2 million e-readers are expected to be sold in the last three months of the year — roughly 40 percent of the entire year’s stock. By the end of 2010, industry experts predict, 10 million people will be carrying e-readers. As for the number of e-books that people have read, they’ve lost track.

If you want a Kindle or want to gift a Kindle this Christmas, maybe you’d better get one now before the Kindle went out of stock.

Read more: The Washington Post.

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