OeBF Releases eBook Sales Statistics

Sep 19, 2003


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The Open eBook Forum (OeBF), the electronic publishing industry's trade and standards organization, has released statistics on the current state of eBooks and provides an industry analysis in its first quarterly eBook and eDocument Publishing and Retail Statistics. Compiled from data submitted by 34 publishers and retailers, the analysis a quantitative assessment of the electronic publishing industry. In compiling the data, the OeBF subdivided the electronic publishing industry into two categories: retailers and publishers. In instances where publishers sold eBooks directly to consumers, their sales data was reported in the retailer category and their publishing data was reported in the publishing category. Among the study's findings are:

Retailers: Unit Sales--A total of 660,991 eBooks have been sold by retailers in the first half of 2003, a 40% increase over the same period in 2002, during which time 471,995 units were sold. Number of Titles Available--The total number of eBooks on sale has increased to 280,590 year-to-date, a 144% increase over the same period in 2002, during which time 114,736 were available. Revenues--$4,965,171 in sales have been logged by retailers in the first half of 2003, a 30% increase over the same period in 2002 during which time retailers made $3,828,250 on sales of eBooks.

Publishers: Unit Sales--A total of 620,277 eBooks have been sold by publishers in the first half of 2003, a 60% increase over the same period of 2002, during which time 388,589 units were sold. Number of Titles Published--The total number of eBooks published year-to-date is 3,614, a 45% increase over the same period in 2002, during which time 2,485 titles were published. Revenues--$3,637,046 in sales have been logged by publishers in the first half of 2003, a 29% increase over the same period in 2002 during which time publishers made $2,815,488 on sales of eBooks.

Publishers and retailers that contributed to the survey are: Abingdon Press/Cokesbury, Amazon.com, Inc., AOL Time Warner Book Group, Barnes & Noble.com, Bookselecta.com Ltd, Dell Magazines, Double Dragon Publishing, eBooks Corporation Ltd, Electric eBook Publishing, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc., E-Reads, Fictionwise, Inc., Franklin Electronic Publishers, Hard Shell Word Factory, HarperCollins Publishers, Houghton Mifflin Company, Humana Press Inc, Laridian, Inc., Mind Like Water, Inc., Mobipocket, Mushroom Publishing, NUMILOG, OverDrive, Inc., Palm Digital Media, powells.com, RAND, Random House, Inc., Simon & Schuster, Spes Editorial, St. Martin's Press, The McGraw-Hill Companies, University of California Press, Walker & Company and Zondervan.

A more detailed report of the full survey findings, including Quarterly Sales Figures from Quarters 1-4 2002 and Quarters 1-2 2003, Best Selling Titles, Best Selling Genres, and the results of Mini-Surveys, in which publishers and retailers offer growth projections through 2004, is available only to OeBF members and companies who participated in the survey.  The survey was conducted over a period of two weeks, with participating companies submitting data through a Web site maintained by the OeBF. The survey methodology and data aggregation process was developed and supervised by Chartula, Inc., an independent consultant retained by the OeBF. A 12 page full statistical report is available only to OeBF members and companies who contributed to the statistics program. The OeBF will collect and release statistics on an ongoing quarterly basis. The next report will contain statistics for Q3 2003.

(http://www.openebook.org)