Thursday, July 26, 2012

NAPCO/InfoTrends eBook Publisher Survey

The July/August edition of Book Business Magazine has the results of a survey of 261 publishers (including 145 book publishers) done in May by InfoTrends and the North American Publishing Company (Book Business' parent) about their adoption of digital media and approach to digital production and distribution. Some of the results are surprising; here's a summary:
  • PDF was the format of choice for 76% of the book publishers, followed by EPUB, with 68%.
  • The top priority for eBook production and distribution at the book publishers was improving the overall user experience, cited by 60.3% of respondents, followed by improving overall design and typography (54.9%) and incorporating embedded rich media (44.4%). Only 20.6% planned to add search capabilities, and features such as embedded social media and sharing capabilities; improving footnotes and references functionality; and enabling reader annotations and highlighting were all named by less than 20% of publishers.
  • The Amazon Kindle was the most popular device that book publishers use to test their eBooks, cited by 39.7% of respondents, followed by Apple's iOS devices (34.9%), Barnes & Noble's Nook (25.4%) and Amazon's Kindle Fire (22.2%).
  • Surprisingly, 30.2% of respondents said that they don't test or tune their eBooks for specific mobile devices, which may explain why so many eBooks look so bad on mobile devices, and 13.5% of respondents don't know which devices (if any) their company tests eBooks on.

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