| April 13, 2012

Digital Book Sales Increase; Worldreader Delivers 94,446 E-Books


By Michael Smith and Tina Tam

Once again we’re seeing the e-book trend soaring to new highs.

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) recently released a snapshot of the industry’s total January 2012 books sales, which is based on a compilation of monthly sales results from the organization’s 1,200 reporting publishers. Although overall sales have risen among print and digital books when comparing January 2011 and January 2012 data, the significant increase in year-over-year digital sales is especially noteworthy.

In the children’s and young adult genres, for instance, e-book sales show the largest gain:

• E-book sales jumped 475 percent, climbing from $3.9 million in January 2011 to $22.6 million this past January;

• Hardcover sales increased 68.9 percent, up from $34 million in the year-ago period to $57.4 million this year, and

• Paperback sales grew 61.9 percent, from $23.5 million last January to $38.0 million during the same month this year.


Source: AAP

The momentum in children’s and young adult e-book sales is directly attributed to three key factors: The growing supply of e-books; the drop in price of digital readers, and a widespread movement to bring e-readers into the education curriculum.

More and more schools are introducing e-readers into their curriculum and incorporating digital textbooks. Just last week New York’s largest high school, Brooklyn Technical High School, signed an agreement with Ectaco to use the Jetbook Color in its classroom activities. Students will be equipped with units capable of storing every textbook for every class. Also, the University of Manitoba (Canada) just signed an agreement with Shop-E-Readers to put the Kobo e-reader in the university bookstore with the infrastructure to access many of the textbooks required by the university students.


Flexible-Unbreakable Screens Coming Soon…

In technology development, LG Display announced that it started to produce ‘flexible’ plastic-based E Ink panels for a Chinese original device manufacturer that will use them in e-readers. The panel is bendable, and the screen unbreakable; it will also be lighter and thinner than the current glass configuration. LG says the new display can withstand a fall from 1.5 meters and is unscratched by hammer hits (always useful tidbits worth knowing).



… And Our Students Get Even More E-books


Meanwhile back in Worldreader’s offices, we’re also seeing a number of upward trends. As of March 31, here’s a snapshot of our e-book world:

• Total number of e-books delivered to Africa so far: 94,446

• Number of e-books delivered since the beginning of 2012: 29,316

• E-books provided to our iREAD students in March: 2,380

• Total number of African titles in our digital library: 394

Think about that for a second. In the 18 months Worldreader has been actively operating, we’ve delivered 94,446 e-books to places and to children who had little or no access to any kind of books, never mind thousands and thousands of them. That’s pretty amazing, right? (If you think the same, please share this post with your friends and colleagues).

Also, since we advocate leisure reading and the power of choosing books to read, there are two other stats we’re particularly proud of:

• In March, iREAD student downloaded 650 pieces of content.

• Overall, for every two books we send to iREAD students, they download one piece of content, which include newspapers, magazines, free book samples and even something as useful as productivity management apps.

Check back here regularly. We’re planning to make these updates a regular feature on our blog.