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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

E-book Sales Jump 172%

According to Publishers weekly recently, and the 14 publishers reporting their August sales stats, the E-book market share has grown stronger yet again in comparison to mass market, where sales are down. But what does this mean for the reader? Not much really. Readers are embracing change but the part that should please all authors is that readers are buying – in any format.

When I first started buying new novels as e-books I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I think my first purchases were chosen by guess work, the format determined by the PC e-book reader program I’d downloaded first. Looking back, I wish I’d known more about the file types I was buying. Initially, I was reading on my PC. Later, I read them on my smart phone when I learned I could. But when I recently tried to move every e-book I’d purchased to my new iPad, I struck problems.

PDF is probably the most common e-book file format around and those files transferred beautifully. I have a lot of long Google Books documents, scanned collectible works, and reading them via iBooks (an iPad App) is fantastic. What I did stumble over were the e-books I purchased from Mobipocket. Now I loved (and still love) Mobipocket Reader yet the program is incompatible (as far as I can determine) with the Apple iPad platform. Initially mildly frustrating until I discovered just what DRM protected files really means to the buyer. And then got miffed.

DRM (Digital Rights Management) restricts access to the file by other e-book reading programs and devices. Which means that since Mobipocket doesn’t have an App for the iPad I can’t read those DRM protected files on it at all. Now, since I still have the Mobipocket Reader program on my PC I can still view them, but only if I’m bound to my desk for the duration of the work. Escaping the desk for reading was the reason I bought the iPad in the first place so finding out that I’ve spent my money on something so restricted doesn’t make me happy. Those stories are not portable at all now and I really loved those stories.

However, when you do have a good look at the file types available it’s clear to see why I was initially so confused. There are an astonishing large number of file formats to choose from: PDF, EPub, PRC, FB2, LIT, LRF, MOBI, PDB, PMLZ, RB, RTF, TCR, TXT. But from now on its EPub or PDF for me – I’m done messing with weird, and protected, formats. LOL

So for those of you who are embracing the flexibility purchasing e-books provide, what programs, devices, and file types are you downloading the most? A very curious mind wants to know.

Recently released historical romance e-book editions on Amazon (available to Australian readers too):
Arabella Sheraton – The Dangerous Duke
Michele Sinclair – The Christmas Knight
Tamara Lejeune – Christmas With the Duchess
Jackie Ivie – A Knight in White Satin
Christie Kelley – Scandal of The Season
Daisy Banks – A Matter of Some Scandal
Terri Brisbin – A Storm of Pleasure

Ciji Ware – Wicked Company


  1. I have to admit, I'm not really buying many e-books. I've only bought a handful, and the ones I've bought are in .pdf format because I read them on my laptop.

  2. I think I just got a headache reading all those formats! Which is another reason I'm waiting to see who emerges the victor in the e-reader battle. LOL

    I read a free e-book from Harlequin recently -- the author is someone I follow on Twitter -- and I think it was PDF format. I really enjoyede it, although reading a whole book on my computer doesn't leave any options for changing position. LOL However, I did go out and buy this author's latest book, so it was definitely worthwhile. :)

  3. Nice! I've long sensed the change coming for readers but I know some are still reluctant to change. I'm hoping to buy an ereader but currently read on my laptop or print format. I use pdf only and my kindle for pc. I'm really enjoying it though as I read on my sofa. I cannot wait to buy a kindle. It's on my christmas list as we speak lol. I've bought Zoe Archer's newest series on kindle and am reading it at the moment. I'll have to check these others out in a few weeks, I've already spent my book allowance for this month lol.

    Great post Heather!

  4. Heather, I want to take that emu home and keep him for a pet!!! He is TOO cute!!!

    As for e-readers, I adore my iPad! I have the ability to read almost any format on it through apps, but mostly I read iBook or Kindle and the occasional pdf.

    Yesterday, one of our readers commented that she had achieved the goal of self-publishing her Regency Romance at Amazon, and so I hopped on and purchased it, then took my iPad to lunch with me so I could begin to read. So far, it's wonderful! :)

  5. Catherine - Ah, you must have a great bookshop nearby. I tend to buy online (ebook and some print) since local bookstores are not terribly supportive of the historical romance genre. Happily, the rise of ebooks is feeding my reading habbit! LOL

    Donna - I've picked up an ebook, read it, and them hunted down more work from that author too. The internet is a great tool to get an authors work visible.

    Melissa - I'm sure you're on Santa's nice girl list. Out of curiosity, do you use the Goodreads site at all to find new material?

    Jerrica - that emu is taller than you. LOL I'm not sure he'd fit in your apartment.

  6. I usually do whatever you tell me I should do when it comes to this kind of new fangled stuff. ;)

    BTW, I asked for an e-reader for my birthday and hubby says I have to figure out what I want. Let's assume an iPad is not an option right now since I am getting my kitchen remodeled. Tell me, Lady Wicked, what do I want?

  7. Oh, the power I have. bwahaha

    Since I'm such an ipad fan, and totally biased in its favor, I was actually going to get some product reviews/comparisons from some ebook users I know. That should post in two weeks. Can you wait that long?

  8. I suppose. I have until December. But hubby took me to Best Buy tonight to look at iPads. Go figure.

  9. Hi Heather.
    PDF for me, only because it was the one I recognised and knew would work. I'm atm debating purchasing a Ipad. At least I now know my eBooks will transfer.
    Great post.
    Tam :)

  10. Tim Tam - the iPad is really good for historical writers. I download lots of 19C material from Googlebooks and its so much easier than reading from the computer screen. :o)

  11. No, Heather, I haven't heard of that yet but I'll check it out. And btw, if there is such a list I am far from being on it LOL! I'll check out goodreads tomorrow, thanks for the info!

  12. Thank you for posting this, Heather. It's so nice to have someone on board who understands all these different formats. I have a kindle and have only downloaded from Amazon. I haven't really experimented with free books or buying anywhere else.