Avid Readers Want Both eBooks and Print Books

By Jason Boog Comment

Jack-McKeown.gifDuring lunch at Digital Book World, Verso Digital business development director Jack McKeown delivered a statistical presentation looking at the reading habits of 110 million Internet users.

“Avid readers are using their eReaders to supplement their print reading habits. There is an emerging hybrid market–they will continue to buy books but split those purchases [between eBooks and print books],” he said, cheering up the publishing crowd.

He also noted that a staggering two-thirds of avid readers surveyed were 45 or older. In contrast, only 28 percent were in the 18+ bracket. Publishers face two unique challenges: keeping the baby boomer readers as they retire and building new readers with a younger generation.

Most dramatically, the survey focused on the maximum price avid readers would pay for eBooks. According to the results, 27 to 28 percent of the avid readers surveyed will not pay more than $10. “They have been converted to Amazon price range,” explained McKeown. However, 37 percent of the readers said they aren’t sure how much they would pay. “Somewhere in the $10 to $18 range there may be a sweet spot,” concluded McKeown.

Here’s more about the survey: “Verso Digital will present the results of its first-ever survey on book-buying behavior and trends. Consumers were surveyed from across Verso’s network of 110-million monthly visitors and 5,000 websites to yield a statistically representative sampling of U.S. book buyers. The Survey probes both brick-and-mortar and online buying preferences; the effectiveness of various forms of marketing and promotion in both environments; and such hot-button topics as e-book pricing, online piracy, and the role of social media in selling books.”