E-Books are the hot topic at Book Expo America
As the publishing industry convenes this week for the annual convention of booksellers, Book Expo America, e-books are a hot topic. A sizzling topic.
Digital companies are taking up more booth space at the expo than ever before. Last year, they took up 6,000 square feet, this year they’re renting 7,000. Amazon.com had rented 400 square feet last year. This year, they’re taking up 1,000 square feet.
So e-book stats are rising. But what about the state of traditional bookselling as of May 2012? Borders: gone. Barnes and Noble: the only big-box bookseller left. Independent bookstores? Great news here. This category has risen from 1,512 individual independent booksellers up to 1,512. OK, it’s not a lot. But it’s the first rise in a long time after many indies have been squeezed out by big booksellers and online retailers like Amazon. (In case anyone is wondering about the editorial bias of this site: we love traditional booksellers that embrace e-books, such as most indies and B&N. We also love digital resellers such as Amazon. We want access in all ways to all ebooks.)
The buzz around this BEA indicates that independent bookstores and libraries are trying to figure out how to connect readers with reading material. And that means creating a viable path for distributing e-books on a person-to-person basis as well as allow for downloads in the brick-and-mortar stores, as well as developing their web sites further. Why choose one method of distribution?
Last year, one of the speakers is author Michael Norris of Simba. He spoke about the relationship between physical bookstores and digital products. We will follow the expo and report on this years' advancements.