During a seminar today at the London Book Fair titled "How to Digitize your Content" (not to be confused with our own "Digitizing Your Backlist"), Penguin Group Digital Director Genevieve Shore shared some interesting insights about Penguin’s growing ebook program:
- Though Penguin USA has been selling ebooks for 10 years, 2007 was the first time they saw "interesting revenue"
- In the first two months of 2008, Penguin USA has sold more ebooks than in all of 2007
- Readers now expect new frontlist titles to be available as ebooks at the same time they show up in bookstores
Genevieve also offered an amusing description of the enthusiasm of early adopters of ebook devices (who she described as wanting to show you all the nooks and crannies of their new toys: "look, I can change the font size!"), likening them to "smokers who’ve given up" and can’t stop talking about how great they feel. Sounds like the old saw about how converts are typically the most fanatic.
(P.S. There’s broad coverage of the LBF over at thebookseller.)