The eBook market has blossomed over the course of the last four years. In the United States nearly 8.5 million adults, 18% of the population, have bought at least one e-book. There are hundreds of bookstores that sell electronic books online, some are very niche specific and others sell everything under the sun. Good e-Reader Research is reporting today that Amazon and Kobo are basically tied as being the online bookstore of choice for hardcore readers.
Good e-Reader conducted a one month research project where we polled 250 people about their favorite online bookstore of choice. Good e-Reader users tend to be savvy, well educated and not afraid of new technologies. These are basically the hardcore users that often buy 50-100 books a year and often have more than one e-reader in the household.
Amazon and Kobo were tied with 35.34% of the overall votes and these two stores have the largest international footprint. They exist in over 30 different countries and offer millions of titles. Kobo has a much larger library of titles, with over 3.6 million available, they are also easier for people to buy books from. One of the advantages these two companies have is their extensive portfolio of e-readers and tablets to facilitate reading. The Kindle Fire and Kobo Arc line of Android devices are perfect for reading newspapers, magazines, comics, kids, cookbooks and content that shines in living color. Hardcore Fiction and Non-Fiction readers tend to gravitate more towards the Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Aura.
It is no surprise that Kobo and Amazon are basically tied, as they do offer the more extensive library of content, whether you are using one of their devices or install the app on your iPad.
Barnes and Noble might be seeing a 30% decline on their hardware and eBook sales during the past holiday season, but they they do have user loyalty. 10.04% of our readers prefer to buy their Nook Books, but 99% of the participants originated from the US. This is the core market where the Nations largest bookseller sells tablets and e ink readers in hundreds of retail locations. Their ecosystem is fairly well developed and they offer self-published titles under the Nook Press banner and full color content optimized for the Nook HD. The sole new device of 2013 was the Nook Glowlight, which tends to be your best friend for binge reading.
The Nook hardware is basically only relevant in the US and UK, but their ecosystem has expanded recently. If you are a Windows 8 tablet owner or like to read on your computer, Microsoft has aided the international expansion into over 32 different countries over the last year. Sadly, Android and iOS readers have to be based in the US/UK to buy books online.
Most other bookstores only had a few people claiming to use it on a regular basis. Sony had 6.02% of the vote, Google with 4.42%, Smashwords at 2.41% and Wattpad with 2.01%. There were 11 people, that made up 4.42% of the vote that mentioned iBooks, the library, Bookeen and others.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.