Primary.com, which launched today, is working directly with manufacturers in an attempt to sell products at lower prices than traditional retail brands.
Online merchants eBooks.com and Fictionwise.com say demand is increasing for digital books downloaded to hand-held devices. 75% of Fictionwise.com’s book sales of 15,000 a month are in PDA format.
Online merchants eBooks.com and Fictionwise.com say they are seeing stepped up demand for digital books downloaded to hand-held devices.
Both retailers, working with technology provider OverDrive.com, have expanded their e-book inventory to include hundreds of titles in Microsoft Corp.’s Microsoft Reader format, which enables consumers to download and read e-books on hand-held devices as well as laptops and desktop PCs. Fictionwise also offers e-books formatted for hand-helds from Palm Inc.
Scott Pendergrast, co-owner of Fictionwise.com, said the new capability is helping Fictionwise handle growth of e-book sales. "Fictionwise sells over 15,000 e-books a month now, and about 75% are read on PDAs," he tells Internet Retailer.
He adds that total sales grew 400% last year, and that continuing growth in the number of member customers should drive further growth. "We have over 50,000 members and are growing at a rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a month," he says.
Suzanne Cole, manager of acquisitions and publisher relations at e-books.com, said her company has received an "enthusiastic response" from customers interested in its inventory of e-books formatted for downloads to hand-held devices.
The e-book industry overall is seeing strong growth. A study released last month by the Open e-book Forum (www.openanebook.org) released the following statistics: * Random House, Inc.’s e-book revenues doubled year-over-year in 2001 and during the latest quarter ending in March, revenues were the highest since the company began selling e-books in 1998. * HarperCollins’ e-book imprint, PerfectBound, has sold more e-books in the first five months of 2002 than in all of 2001. * Average monthly downloads of Adobe Acrobat e-book Reader have increased by approximately 70% from 2001 to 2002. * Simon & Schuster has seen double-digit growth in e-book sales from the first half of 2001 to the first half of 2002. * Over 5 million copies of Microsoft Reader have been distributed for use on desktop, note-book and Pocket PC systems. * Palm Digital Media reports that nearly 180,000 e-books were sold in 2001, a more than 40% increase from 2000. * In 2002, McGraw-Hill Professional e-book sales are up 55% over the same period last year.