retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) says that an analysis of February 2011 book sales figures reveals that e-books generated $90 million in sales - more than any other single format (hardcovers, trade paperbacks, mass market paperbacks).

While e-book sales still lag behind all of the physical formats combined, this is seen as yet another indication of the revolutionary change affecting book publishing and retailing, and an explanation of why companies such as Borders are in financial trouble, and sales of devices such as the Kindle and iPad are thriving.

The other thing that AAP points to as a dramatic change is the interest in what are called “backlist books,” or those that have been in print for some time. This is the book version of the “long tail” phenomenon - with more product available more easily, people are interested in buying a broader range of products.

It is a retail trend worth noting, and an Eye-Opener no matter what you are selling because it reflects not just a technological change, but a fundamental consumer shift.
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