Friday, June 15, 2012

Summary of Association of American University Presses' Spring 2012 eBook Survey

In preparation for the Association of American University Presses' annual convention in Chicago, the group has released its "Digital Book Publishing in the AAUP Community" survey for Spring 2012. Here's a summary of selected findings:
  • The most popular digital publishing strategies being pursued by university presses are short-run digital printing/print-on-demand programs for backlist titles, and individual sales of eBooks, both of which are being used by 93% of the presses. By comparison, mobile eBooks or book-based apps are being used by only 34% of the presses. 
  • Amazon's Kindle and ebrary tied as the most popular platform, vendor or aggregator that university presses use to provide digital content, with 81% using them. Google's eBookstore, NetLibrary and Barnes & Noble's Nook follow with 74%, 71% and 68% respectively. 
  • In FY2011, the majority of university presses got 3% or less of their revenue from eBook sales or licenses. However, in FY2012, most presses expect to get between 1% and 10% of their revenue from eBooks.
  • PDF is the most popular format offered by the university presses (used by 94% of the presses), followed by EPUB, with 87%. Amazon's Kindle formats (MOBI, PRC and AZW) are used by 49% of the presses. Adobe Digital Editions is used by 29% of the presses, and no other format is used by more than 18% of the presses. 
  • 99% of the university presses participate in Google Books for Publishers; 88% use Amazon's Search Inside the Book, and 43% use Barnes & Noble's See Inside. 
  • Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Shelfari, are by far the most popular digital marketing services used by university presses; 91% use them. Choice Reviews Online is in second place with 25%, followed by Scribd with 24%. However, according to the report, pirated content often shows up on Scribd, making the service problematic for many presses. 
  • Less than 50% of presses offer any free content from their websites; the most popular form is PDF excerpts, offered by 44% of presses. 
  • 54% of university presses use a single ISBN for all digital formats, 41% assign a separate number for each publisher format, and 5% assign a separate number for each vendor format. 
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