Using Statistics

Berinstein, Paula
May 2005
Searcher;May2005, Vol. 13 Issue 5, p40
Trade Publication
Case Study
This article presents a case study devised to illustrate how to evaluate information and find statistics of online book sales. It is no secret that the book industry has been undergoing an upheaval. From the invasion of the chain bookstores to the advent of online bookselling and now the promise or threat of the Google Print initiative. A brief overview of the book industry identifies the major players which includes, authors, literary agents, publishers, distributors, wholesalers, booksellers and other retailers, associates, consumers, and libraries. Publishers' revenues was proven to have been rising, while unit sales of books have been falling slowly. Higher book prices have probably driven the increase in publisher revenues. If prices are not responsible, then other revenue streams must be making up the difference. The online channel has been gaining market share. Overall used book sales have been dropping, while those in the online channel have been rising. Sales of used books have cannibalized those of new books somewhat while affording new opportunities for publisher and author revenues. The book-buying population has been aging and shrinking. The study had produced both good and bad news for the industry. The industry was hardly collapsing, but it was changing. Unit sales were falling in the face of increased availability, indicating a glut.


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