74% Of Book Buyers Have Never Bought An eBook

eBook sales increased 17% in 2011 according to research from R.R. Bowker. In a presentation at the Digital Book World conference this week, Kelly Gallagher, VP, publishing services at R.R. Bowker, shared this data.

Interestingly, 74% of book buyers have never bought an eBook, though 14% of these people own either a tablet or an eReader. “They may have gotten them as a gift, but haven’t used them yet,” said Gallagher.

According to Gallagher, eBook sales vary across genre. Fiction carried eBook sales representing 26% of eBook sales in the third quarter of 2011. Cookbooks on the other hand only represented about 3%.

Interestingly, about a third of buyers are driving about two thirds of overall purchases. These power readers buy at least 4 books a month. “We’ve got to keep our eyes on these folks if we want to see the growth,” said Gallagher.

Gallagher said that he couldn’t predict how eBook sales would do in 2012, but he concluded with, “A slower burn on this might benefit us all.”

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