Rosemary on eBooks and Book Clubs

The following is a guest post by Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rosemary Carlough on eBooks and book clubs.

The holiday season just passed delivered eBook readers to many more users. AMACOM’s sales of eBooks had already exploded during 2011. So now we’re very curious to see how sales will continue to grow during 2012, and what the impact will be on print book sales. We have a few titles where print and eBook sales were neck-and-neck at the close of 2011, but for most of our titles the print edition still sells more copies than the eBook. During 2011 our sales of eBooks more than doubled versus the prior year. And eBooks are clearly going global. We already get eBook revenue from sites in the UK and Germany, as well as the U.S., and we’ll soon be adding Canada and France to the list. Early reports are that eBook readers were strong sellers during the holiday season in the UK, so hopefully those sales will grow in 2012 as well.

On a personal level, half of the women in my book group now own eBook readers, including some of the folks who are not really tech-savvy. The real bonus to this is that we no longer have discussions about whether the book is hardcover and too heavy to carry when commuting. We still look at price, although four of us are also regular users of the local library.

The biggest challenge for the book club is deciding what book to read. Some of us always come with suggestions, but coming to agreement is difficult. We check out the book descriptions at online sellers using our smartphones. I’m using Goodreads and have been trying – not very successfully – to get more folks I know who have similar reading interests to join. I’d really like to keep track of their personal reviews of titles I’m considering. I find Goodreads really handy for keeping track of not just what I have read, but also what I want to read. My “To Read” list is always with me when I’m visiting the library or a bookstore, whether in-person or online. So here’s to more good reads (pun intended) in 2012. In fact I’m already in the midst of reading not one, but three books.

Don’t ask.

Rosemary Carlough is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at AMACOM. She started at AMA doing direct marketing when AMACOM had a monthly print newsletter, which was like a mini-catalog. Now she manages all of the marketing department, which includes creative, PR, trade sales, and our rights department. Check the AMACOM website for Sales and Marketing Inquiries.

Related Posts:
Rosemary on eBook Sales
Rosemary on Selling Content by Chapter
Rosemary on the Triumphs and Frustrations of Metadata
Rosemary on Fourth of July. Books, baseball, & blueberry pie!
Kama on Running a Book Group

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3 responses to “Rosemary on eBooks and Book Clubs

  1. Nice post, Rosemary. The obsessive readers in our house (actually that’s all of us so let me narrow it down to the obsessive adult readers, since the kids haven’t taken to them yet) all love being able to start reading on one device, and continue in line at the grocery store on our iPad or Android, never losing our place or being without our book — or as you put it correctly, books — that we’re in the middle of. It really is an advantage. For me, an obsessive underliner, I really appreciate being able to have all my highlighted lines in one place when I’m done with a book too– and I suspect the rest of the household appreciates me no longer ruining physical copies of books with my marginalia.

  2. I met with my book group just the other night, and was pleased to see a combination of hardcopies and eReaders. It was a learning lesson for me, as I bought the book thru an independent store via Google Books for my Nook, but had failed to look at the page count. I started to read about a week before we were set to meet, and realized my mistake as soon as I opened the file and saw a page count at 550. I ended up not finishing the book in time, but my group is pretty relaxed, so no biggie. We just can’t complain about spoilers if we haven’t completed the book by the time we meet!

  3. eReaders can also come in handy if you are tardy in buying a book. I don’t belong to a book club myself, but my stepfather once borrowed my Nook because he had put off buying the book for his book club discussion until the last minute and found they didn’t have it at the store. He downloaded it and finished it just before the battery ran out.

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