Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where readers buy their ebooks? Week 5 of our 10-week survey: is on the rise!

We're halfway on our 10-week ebook experiment. Like all experiments, it began with a question: Where will readers look to buy their ebooks? Following the launch of Google eBookstore, its relationships with independent bookstores and with Amazon, B&N, Borders and other book retailers fighting on their market share, the competition between ebook retailers is getting fierce.

Our assumption is that many readers will look for e-books using a search engine and will buy from one of the first results of their search. So we randomly chose 10 books of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2010 and googled each title with the word ebook and wrote down the first two results we got. We redo it every Thursday for 10 weeks and will see if there are any changes in the search results.

Here are the results for week 5. In brackets you'll see the first week results. If they were the same we just wrote 'same'. And if you click on the titles, you will be forwarded to the first place on the title's search):

1. Girl by the Road at Night by David Rabe
1st place: Simon & Schuster (same)
2nd place: Simon & Schuster (same)

2. The Long Song by Andrea Levy
1st place: (same)
2nd place: (same)

3. The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie
1st place: (same)
2nd place: (same)

4. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
1st place: (same)
2nd place: Random House (Simon & Schuster)

5. Big Girls Don't Cry by Rebecca Traister
1st place: Simon & Schuster (same)
2nd place: Simon & Schuster (same)

6. The Price of Altruism by Oren Harman
1st place: Kobo (
2nd place: (same)

7. INSECTOPEDIA by Hugh Raffles
1st place: (same)
2nd place: (same)

8. Country Driving by Peter Hessler
1st place: Barnes & Noble (same)
2nd (goodreads)

9. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
1st place: (B&N)
2nd place: Barnes & Noble (Random House)

10. Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens
1st place: (same)
2nd place: Barnes & Noble (same)

Here's the summary of the results:

Amazon B&N Publishers Others Google
1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd
week 1 6 3 1 2 3 4 0 1 0 0
week2 6 4 1 3 3 3 0 0 0 0
week3 6 2 1 2 3 4 0 2 0 0
week4 6 3 2 1 2 4 0 2 0 0
week5 5 4 1 2 2 3 2 1 0 0

We give 2 points for 1st place and 1 point for 2nd place:

Amazon B&N Google Publishers Others
week 1 15 4 0 10 1
week 2 16 5 0 9 0
week 3 14 4 0 10 2
week 4 15 5 0 8 2
week 5 14 4 0 7 5

So what do have here? Amazon lost one point, but is still in the first place with no real competition in site. B&N didn't change much and the publishers' websites continue to lose power (30% decrease since we started the experience). The main change we see this week is a rise in 'others' with the first time that websites like or Kobo win a first place ( also had another second place). It will be interesting to see if this trend will continue in the next weeks. See you next Thursday.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!