With Amazon’s Tuesday evening blog post that it doesn’t expect its dispute with the Hachette Book Group to end any time soon, the standoff between the company and one of its vendors is once again show-ing just how much leverage the online giant enjoys in the book marketplace. Research conducted in March by the Codex Group found that in the month Amazon’s share of new book unit purchases was 41%, dominating 65% of all online new book units, print and digital. The company achieved that percentage by not only being the largest channel for e-books, where it had a 67% market share in March, but also having a commanding slice of the sale of print books online, where its share in March was estimated at 64%. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are the only two book outlets that have a mean-ingful share of both the e-book and print markets, assets that are becoming increasingly important as book buyers turn more and more to online channels to purchase books. According to the newest figures from Nielsen Market Research, online outlets accounted for 41% of book purchases in 2013, while bookstore chains accounted for 22%. While all bricks-and-mor-tar stores still sell more books than online retailers, the trend, despite the slow-down in the growth of e-books, continues to move in favor of online sales. In part, that is due to the grow-ing share of print book sales Kicking off this year’s IDPF Digital Book Conference at BEA, author Nicholas Carr, known for his skepti-cal examinations of the impact of digital technology on our brains, outlined a book industry that is far-ing well despite early industry apprehension over technology. Despite all this “good news”—his words—about digital publishing in general and e-books specifically, Carr concluded, “The mind we read with is different in a book” and ultimately is in conflict with the growth of technol-ogy all around us. He was followed by a lineup of speakers offering just the opposite viewpoint: enthusiastic presenta-tions on just how the world of traditional books, e-books, and broader technological development are transforming the book industry for the better. From executives like Scholastic’s Lori Benton, librarian Peter Brantley, and self-publishers like Bella Andre, one speaker after another seemed to diverge or simply ignore this conflict between the mind on books and the mind on books using technology. Indeed, the discussion focused more on how publishers, retail-ers, and libraries are all using technology in some form to connect more peo-ple than ever to books. It was only Carr’s conclu-sion—“resist the culture of distraction,” as he called the proliferation of smart-phones, tablets, and digital reading devices in gen-eral—that everyone follow-ing him seemed to ignore. Most famous for books like
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
The Glass Cage: Automation and Us
(Norton), Carr led off this year’s con-ference by noting that even today’s digitally enabled book market doesn’t look that different from the “pre-Kindle market,” before 2009. E-books, he said, are not a replacement for print books but a complement to print, like audiobooks. Indeed each format, print and digital, has its place: “People want an
Otis Chandler of Goodreads at the IDPF morning session.
By Jim MilliotBy Calvin Reid
“REMINISCENT OF JOHN GREEN’S
ALSAID’S DEBUT IS A GEM.”
—School Library Journal
Meet Adi at the Harlequin booth, #3038, today at 11:30 a.m.
continued on page 8continued on page 4
Publishers Weekly’s Show Daily
is produced each day during the 2014 BookExpo in New York. The
press ofﬁce is in room 4A1.
’s booth is #1252.
Thursday May 29, 2014
ALL THE BUZZ ON BOOKEXPO AMERICA
Can Anyone Compete with Amazon?
Books, Technology, and The Culture of Distraction
All Other Used-Book StoresSupermarkets Independent BookstoresOther Direct-to-Consumer Nontraditional BookstoresReligious Bookstores Warehouse ClubsMass MerchandisersBook Clubs
UNIT SALES BY CHANNEL