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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Consumers chase ebook titles

Apparently interest in e-readers (Kindles, iPads and the like) has jumped measurably since Borders and Angus & Robertson slipped into administration.

Is this signaling a new chapter (pardon the pun) in publishing?

Data from web traffic tracking company Experian Hitwise backs up claims of a recent rise in e-book interest.

The share of searches on e-books rose nearly 5 percentage points for Amazon from mid-January to March 19, and 29 per cent since Borders and Angus & Robertson fell into voluntary administration.

For Kobo, in the No. 2 spot after Amazon, the share of web traffic searching on the term e-book rose about 3 percentage points, or as much as 46 per cent.

University of Melbourne publishing and communications lecturer Emmett Stinson said e-books were likely to generate around 7 to 8 per cent of all book sales by the end of the year, but might even come close to 10 per cent.

Mr Stinson said his guess was "based on Australia's adoption of other new media: ... slow at first, but quick to catch up".

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