You can’t fool all of the readers all of the time.
If the Big Six traditional print-book publishers thought they could snooker readers into turning their backs on ebooks and going back to a book business built around exorbitantly priced hardcover bestsellers, here’s a news flash:
The polls have closed, the results have been counted, and a record turnout of Kindle Nation citizens have voted to continue the Kindle Revolution!
Among the key take-aways from the 1,892 individuals who responded February 6-13 to the Winter 2010 Kindle Nation Citizen Survey:
* Kindle owners are voracious readers who have already made dramatic changes in their book buying behavior. 64% now buy at least 15 Kindle Store ebooks a year (and that does not include free titles), and over half of those respondents buy at least 30 Kindle Store ebooks a year. While 61 percent used to buy 15 or more new print books a year (from Amazon or physical booksellers) before acquiring a Kindle, that number has declined to just 15% today. * Kindle owners are poised to make further changes in book-buying and reading behavior, some of which could have grim consequences for traditional print publishers. 73% say that they have “become more price-conscious” as a result of the “recent ebook price wars, 60% say that higher bestseller prices would lead them to “buy more backlist or indie titles,” and 48% say they’ll “look to buy ebooks by authors who provide Kindle exclusives.”
* That willingness of Kindle owners to look beyond bestsellers for interesting, affordable reading content may signal a declining acceptance of the traditional “gatekeeper” role of the major publishers. The respondents’ ratio of positive-to-negative views of the Big Six publishers was 18% positive to 35% negative, compared to 46% positive to 3% negative for small independent publishers, 86% positive to 1% negative for Amazon itself, and 44% positive to 20% negative for soon to be fledgling ebook seller Apple.
* Recent controversies over book pricing have apparently helped Kindle owners become more educated and/or opinionated about key players’ roles and tactics. Only 6 of 1,892 respondents said they had “never heard of” the Big Six publishers, 60% agreed strongly or somewhat with the statement that “publishers & Apple should be investigated for price-fixing collusion,” and 93% agreed strongly or somewhat with the statement that “hardcovers are overpriced and ebooks should be much cheaper.”
* But the survey indicates that publishers may have been wise to keep their recent pricing-related communications “in-house” and let authors speak directly to readers through online forums and other venues, since a 57% positive to 3% negative ratio in Kindle owners’ views of bestselling authors suggests far greater credibility, at least for now, than that suggested in the aforementioned 18%-to-35% ratio for the Big Six.
Click here to see complete, detailed results of the survey, and keep your dial tuned to Kindle Nation Daily — here on the web or here to have posts pushed directly to your Kindle — for ongoing breakdowns of the significance of the survey results.
Additional Survey Results, coming soon:
* What If Big Six Market Share Leader Random House Breaks Ranks with the Apple Five?
* Kindle Features: Past, Present, and Possible
* Prospects for Competition and Co-existence Among the Kindle, iPad, and Other Devices
* Kindle Owner Demographics
* How Many Devices in a Kindle Household?
* Bezos’ Nightmare: 20-20 Hindsight on Amazon’s 2003 Decision to Begin Development of the Kindle
Editor’s Note: The above is reprinted, with permission, from Kindle Nation Daily and you can find the original here. PB