Another promising sign for e-books. The electronic version of a recently-released mystery novel outsold the hardcover version, according to the publisher, HarperCollins.
The thriller by Laura Lippman, “I’d Know You Anywhere,” which hit bookstands Aug. 17 sold 4,739 e-books versus 4,000 hardcover versions during the first five days the title was available. However, there’s no mystery why e-book sales are edging out physical book purchases.
Turns out, a favorable review can be quickly converted to sales when there is an e-book adaptation. “What we’re seeing now is that if a book gets a good review, it gets a faster lift on the digital side than it does on the physical side because people who have e-readers can buy and read it immediately,” HarperCollins senior vice president Frank Albanese told the Wall Street Journal.
From Apple’s iTunes connection, to the Kindle’s link to Amazon.com or the Barnes & Noble’s Nook, e-reader makers have made it simple for device owners to slurp content via free Wi-Fi connections.
The HarperCollins comments are just the latest indicating e-books are taking a larger slice of the publishing pie. Electronic editions comprise 8 percent of book publishing revenue, up from 3 to 5 percent a year ago, according to the report. Some industry experts foresee e-books accounting for 20 to 25 percent of sales by 2012.
Those sales of e-books may be weighted toward Amazon’s Kindle device. Earlier this week, author Joe Konrath said sales of the Kindle versions of his titles are outselling Apple’s iBoostore at an estimated 60-to-1 ratio. Writing at his blog, Konrath said he sells 200 books per day for the Kindle, versus 100 per month for the iPad.
In another attempt to recoup sliding sales of physical books, publishers are so far rejecting a proposal from Apple to insert iAds into e-books sold at the iBookstore. The idea is to use the personal data collected from sales at the iTunes store to craft advertising tailored to individual readers. Publishers, however, are concerned advertising could overshadow the books’ content.