BTW News Briefs

An Update to the March Indie Next List

The on-sale date for the March Indie Next List title The Inquisitor: A Novel, by Mark Allen Smith (Holt, 9780805094268, $27) has changed. The new on-sale date is 4/10/12.

The Grammys Go To

The 54th Grammy Awards included the presentation of the awards for Best Spoken Word Album, encompassing poetry, audiobooks and storytelling, to If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) by Betty White (Penguin Audio) and Best Children’s Album to All About Bullies... Big and Small by various artists (Cool Beans Music & East Coast Recording Co.).

British Study Finds Book Buyers Switching to E-Books and Spending Less

E-book sales are on the upswing in Britain, sales of print books are on the decline, and consumers are spending less on books overall. These are among the findings of the latest Books & Consumers survey, an ongoing study of the habits of British book buyers conducted by BML, a Bowker business.

For the 48-week period ending November 27, 2011, compared to the same period in 2010, British consumers bought four percent fewer physical books, “with value down some six percent,” the Books & Consumers survey found.  “However, with e-book purchases included, the total consumer book market grew very slightly in volume terms, up 0.4 percent, with a market value drop of three percent overall.”

Sales of adult fiction in e-book format rose from 2.8 percent of purchases in the four weeks ending December 26, 2010 to 12.5 percent in the four weeks ending November 27, 2011.  However, because e-books are being bought for lower prices, they accounted for only 7.1 percent of adult fiction spending in the latest period, according to the survey.

 Other survey highlights:

  • Prices for e-books are climbing slightly, but are still significantly less than print books.
  • Older buyers, those 60 to 79 years old, are outpacing their younger counterparts in the purchase of e-books. They now account for just over a quarter of the e-book market in value terms.

The full 2011 results from the Books & Consumers survey will be released at BML Bowker’s annual conference on March 29 in London.

BISG Welcomes Four New Board Members

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) welcomed four new members to its Board of Directors at a recent meeting in New York City. The new members include Dan Cullen, content officer for American Booksellers Association, who replaces Len Vlahos, who left ABA to become BISG’s executive director last fall. The Boards other new members are Mark Bide, executive director of EDItEUR, the global standards organization that maintains the ONIX standard and oversees the International ISBN Agency; Kyusik Chung, vice president of business development at the social reading site Goodreads; and Sharon Lubrano, ProQuest vice president and general manager of Bowker, a provider of bibliographic information and management solutions. 

BISG’s Vlahos said, “These additions to the Board demonstrate the diverse nature of BISG. Mark, Kyusik, Dan, and Sharon join Board members from large and small publishers, powerhouse retailers, technology companies, and more. By representing the full spectrum of the supply chain, BISG is perfectly situated to foster the kind of collaboration and communication needed to help meet the industry’s challenges.”

 “Independent booksellers are appreciative and grateful for the important work that BISG does in terms of research, standardizing best practices, and education, which plays a critical role in helping to create a more informed and successful book industry,” said Cullen. “I’m honored to have an opportunity to help contribute to BISG’s efforts.”