Is Digital Reading Just for Folks with Lots of Money?

According to Kelly Gallagher of RR Bowker, indeed it is. His talk this morning at Digital Book World focused on surveying the income bracket of people who actually read eBooks. Even though eBooks are a bit cheaper than print books, the price of eReaders and awareness of the new technology seems to be restricting usership to only those with a bit of money to burn.

Here’s more from our sibling blog GalleyCat:

Most dramatically, he reported that 37 percent of eBook readers earned over $65,000 a year, 38 percent earned between $35,000 and $75,000, and 25 percent earned $35,000 or below. That presents a considerable challenge for publishers–how to reach an economic bracket effectively priced out of the digital book market.

Associate editor Iris Blasi broke that figure down on Twitter: “100% of entry level publishing types live in the beige circle @BISG’s pie chart defines as “low income”(<$35K)."

And here’s a bit of Gallagher’s talk: “Today all bets are off [about] knowing where that customer is. Today’s consumer they don’t care that we are here at this conference… that’s a reality that’s facing us in the publishing industry. All they care about that they’re going to get their product when they want it and how they want it. They don’t care what our problems are.”