7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2010 11:32 AM by _deb_

    Romance & Sci-fi genres leading switch to e-books: Nielsen BookScan

    Doug_Pardee

      The Bookseller quotes BookScan's Julie Meynink:

      There has been over-performance in the growth in e-book sales in the romance and science fiction categories, when compared to the market share of print book sales, and this correlates with a fall in print book sales in those sectors.

      By "over-performance", she means that the percentage of those genres compared to total sales are higher for e-books than for print books. BookScan says that among e-books sold world-wide, 14% are "romance and saga" and 10% are "sci-fi and fantasy", while among print books the percentages are more like 2% and 3% respectively.

       

      Both of those genres have shown noticeable declines in print sales. In the past, sales of print romances had always been higher every year than the year before. So far this year, print romance sales are off 7.5% over the same period of 2009, according to BookScan.

       

        • Re: Romance & Sci-fi genres leading switch to e-books: Nielsen BookScan

          Good to know us SF readers at least are paying homage to the origins of the electronic reader (in SF of course) by hopping on board enthusiastically. SF readers being overwhelmingly pro-ebooks makes perfect sense- we grew up with the damn things showing up in almost every vision of the future we read :smileyvery-happy:.

           

          The romance thing is a pleasant surprise and not one I could have imagined in my wildest dreams (not for any chauvinistic reasons I assure you :smileytongue:, but just because it's so random - why romance and not any other?). I'd love to read speculations as to the possible causes. Is it just to make it it easier to hide the naughty covers on the bus :smileyvery-happy:??

            • Re: Romance & Sci-fi genres leading switch to e-books: Nielsen BookScan
              wordsandmelodies

              Lol.  This makes me laugh, cuz those are primarily the genres I read right now.  I was pleased to realize that I could find most of my sci-fi in ebooks.  Besides reader acceptance, I'm guessing it's partly authors embracing the idea too -- if they write about this technology, I don't think they're as likely to say "No, these aren't 'real books' and I don't want my books published in this format."  Besides, doesn't it just SEEM like sci-fi should be available electronically and portably?

               

              I know that our town's library's ebook collection is heavily skewed towards romance, but I thought that was just a local quirk.  Interesting.  Maybe it IS partly the covers.  Some of them are over the top, and when I only read DTBs, I tried not to bring them with me in professional situations.  Do people sometimes look at me differently when they see my books?  Yep.  I don't care if it happens at the library or the coffee shop -- when my mentor does it, it matters.

              • Re: Romance & Sci-fi genres leading switch to e-books: Nielsen BookScan

                aditya wrote:

                Good to know us SF readers at least are paying homage to the origins of the electronic reader (in SF of course) by hopping on board enthusiastically. SF readers being overwhelmingly pro-ebooks makes perfect sense- we grew up with the damn things showing up in almost every vision of the future we read :smileyvery-happy:.

                 

                The romance thing is a pleasant surprise and not one I could have imagined in my wildest dreams (not for any chauvinistic reasons I assure you :smileytongue:, but just because it's so random - why romance and not any other?). I'd love to read speculations as to the possible causes. Is it just to make it it easier to hide the naughty covers on the bus :smileyvery-happy:??


                The cover thing might actually have at least a little to do with it. Sci-fi and fantasy had always been my favorite genre but as I have gotten older and worked in the professional world I stopped reading anything that had covers with medieval magicians, dragons, half naked women in battle garb and such.

                 

                Thank goodness for Harry Potter and a few other more sociably acceptable books of that type.

                 

                While I've missed reading some of the books I liked when I was younger due to my self-imposed ban, I have explored many new types of books that I might not have otherwise.

                 

                Now that I own a Nook, I will probably occasionally purchase some Sci-fi and fantasy once more :smileyhappy:.

                  • Re: Romance & Sci-fi genres leading switch to e-books: Nielsen BookScan

                    Conniecats wrote:

                    ...

                    The cover thing might actually have at least a little to do with it. Sci-fi and fantasy had always been my favorite genre but as I have gotten older and worked in the professional world I stopped reading anything that had covers with medieval magicians, dragons, half naked women in battle garb and such.

                     ...


                     

                    I found that as I got older and worked in the professional world I migrated even more to fantasy to get aware from the day to day drudge.  Code a new class file...read a chapter about barbarians killing each other...another design meeting...read a chapter about a desperate prince looking for the princess :smileyvery-happy: 

                     

                    Besides - as a warm blooded guy I find no harm in half naked women in battle garb! :smileywink:

                     

                  • Re: Romance & Sci-fi genres leading switch to e-books: Nielsen BookScan

                    First, I was not at all surprised about the romance genre.   On another thread, not so long ago, I discussed why I thought that the number of romance readers almost out numbered any other. 

                     

                    To add to rationale being offered here on why the romance genre helps to lead this movement, I would offer quantity and cost.  First, how many books are classified as XXXX/romance?  You can put almost anything in there i.e. mystery, fantasy, historical etc.  That along with pure romance books makes their number almost unmatched.  Also, many romance selections are quick reads and are relatively inexpensive.  Many are rarely read more than once.  Look at the number of them in consignment stores, used books stores, or donated to libraries for proof of that.  I know several non-fiction titles (and not recent ones) that would cost me the price of 2-4 romance reads in ebook format.  Their popularity, number, and low cost make marketing to the ebook customer really, really easy. 

                  • Re: Romance & Sci-fi genres leading switch to e-books: Nielsen BookScan

                    I don't find this surprising at all. My main reason for buying a nook was that I was sick of finding space for, moving, etc. all my doorstopper sized fantasy book series. Romance is also known for series which often stretch into dozens of titles. And plot driven series fiction has a lot of reread value, so having your whole book collection at your fingertips wherever you are is a real advantage.

                    • Re: Romance & Sci-fi genres leading switch to e-books: Nielsen BookScan

                      Interesting, and good to know.


                      Here's to hoping that this inspires B&N to target these genres for more rapid conversion to ebook format.

                      They do a good job, don't get me wrong, but I've got pretty wide-ranging fantasy/sci-fi tastes, and nothing is more annoying than wanting to buy a fantasy title for my Nook and discovering that B&N hasn't gotten it set up yet, even though Amazon has it for the Kindle.

                       

                      Ah, the curse of being an early adopter. :smileyhappy: