For the last few months we ran a survey on Good e-Reader asking where people purchased their ebooks! Over 500 people responded to our survey from all corners of the world and it gives a solid introspective on the most popular stores from the hardest of the hardcore reading fiends.
It looks like Amazon whom controls most of the reading market with their Kindle line of e-readers and the store that services these came in first with 174 votes.
Barnes and Noble came in second place with a respectable effort of around 136 votes. The gulf between first and second place was not as big as we would have anticipated. This shows the success of the new Nook Color e-reader and the amount of quality books that B&N offers online.
Not surprisingly ebooks pirated from Bit-torrent sites came in third with 99 votes. This is a very strong representation from a large number of people that prefer to navigate the murky waters of the underworld to find quality eBooks.
Kobo came in fourth place with 66 votes and the company offers around 1.3 million electronic books for the Kobo line of e-readers and supported applications. A large percent of the Kobo ebook library is mainly open source or public domain books which they give away for free or charge very low amounts. But their popularity is telling as more first time readers who purchase a e-ink based E-Reader do so in the confines of a retail setting in Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Fifth place went to Borders which is going out of business soon due to the fact the company struggled on the retail front and never developed an e-reader of their own. Their eBook store still remains popular with no word on the fate of the electronic section of that site. Borders popularity is directly allocated to the fact that numerous tablet computers are bundled with the Borders reading application. It allows you to directly buy books from Borders.
Six Place went to Sony with 47 votes! None of Sony’s e-readers allow you to buy books directly from the store and the company also struggles with the availability of its dedicated e-reading applications. To date, it only has a single Android application to allow you buy magazines, newspapers and books from the store and read them right on your tablet or phone. The Android program is actually barely a few months old. Sony did try to get an iPad app going but Apple shot them down due to their new stance on taking a piece of every digital e-Books sold.
Rounding off the top 10 we have newcomer Google Books/eBooks with 24 votes and 18 votes for independent indy author hub Smashwords. Apples iBookstore comes in at 9 with 14 votes and Books on Board with 13 votes.
One of the most telling features on our survey is the number of books purchased from respectable book stores. I honestly thought that pirating books would have come in at number 1, by a substantial figure. Instead it came in at number 3 with Amazon and Barnes and Noble clearly leading the pack.
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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.