Now Available: Report Two of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, Volume 4

New York, NY (October 29, 2013) BISG's Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading, powered by Nielsen Book Research and now in its fourth and final year, reveals an emerging consensus around e-books and maturing consumption patterns, with important implications for trade publishers and content creators and distributors.

Now a normal means of consuming content and offering consumers a broad range of reading options, e-book growth has slowed and currently comprises about 30% of books sold. Consumer Attitudes explores the many reasons for this and analyzes the implications for future print and physical book purchase trends. It delves into the categories and genres most and least preferred in e-book format; pricing factors; how consumers learn about new books and where they buy them; the impact of trends in device purchasing on publishing and retailing; and how readers interact with content on mobile devices.

New findings in the final report of Volume Four of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading include:

  • Consumers are very interested in "bundling" print and digital versions of a book, with 48% of survey respondents willing to pay more for bundles.
  • Just over half of survey respondents would pay more for an e-book if it could be given away or re-sold.
  • Consumers do not distinguish between e-books published by traditional houses and independently published options when making buying decisions.
  • While the numbers are relatively small, there is an increase in the number of people who buy print and digital versions of a book interchangeably and a slow decline in the number of people who exclusively buy e-books.

Len Vlahos, BISG Executive Director, said "Four years of consumer data shows clearly that e-book consumption has reached mainstream readers and has expanded well beyond early adopter 'power readers,' but that physical books remain a popular format for many consumers, especially in certain categories. This survey provides actionable information for companies across the industry to stay ahead of these trends."

Jo Henry, Director of Nielsen Book Research, commented: "It is clear from four annual research surveys that e-books are in the later stages of the innovation curve and have settled into reasonably predictable consumption patterns. The likelihood of future growth will, in part, depend on improving the value perception of e-books among less committed users."

For added insight and context, Volume 4, Report 2 of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading includes interviews with Mark Coker, who was shortlisted for BISG's 2013 Disruptor Award and is Founder and CEO of Smashwords, the popular e-book distributor for indie authors, and the popular indie author J.D. Nixon. It analyzes the successful strategies developed by smaller presses and other pioneering developments that may affect the use curve. The PDF version captures some of the most important new trends and can be purchased here. For those seeking more in-depth information, a subscription to the Real-Time Reporting (RTR) service is available; more information can be found here. BISG member pricing offers significant discounts for all version; membership information is available here.

For more information about the survey and research methods, please contact Nadine Vassallo at

For a Press Copy of the Summary PDF of Consumer Attitudes Toward E-books, please contact Jeanette Zwart at

BISG thanks the project sponsors Barnes and Noble Inc. and Hachette Book Group for their support.

For more information and analysis of net unit and dollar sales by category and format including e-books for the full US publishing industry from 2008 through 2012, please refer to BookStats, the Joint Venture between the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), by clicking here.

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About the Book Industry Study Group, Inc.
The Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG) is the book industry's leading trade association for policy, standards, and research. The mission of BISG is to facilitate innovation and shared solutions for the benefit of all companies and practitioners who create, produce, and distribute published content, and the organizations that support them. Membership consists of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. For over 35 years, BISG has provided a forum for all industry professionals to come together and efficiently address issues and concerns to advance the book community. Learn more about BISG at