Kelly Gallagher started today’s Digital Book World presentations with the first highlights of data from the BISG’s new survey of consumer attitudes towards ereading. Aiming to evaluate “how traditional print-book buyers are interacting with ebooks”–and to be repeated two more times this year to track changes in readers’ habits–they surveyed about 550 people from their panel of survey panel of 36,000 book readers (after “qualifying” a mere 2.4 percent of that group overall as able to speak about ereading habits at all).
As with other data presentations, our caution–data-heavy slides went flying by so are hard to present fully here. But the panel confirmed that “affordability is the number one reason people purchase ebooks,” followed by easy to download, readility and portability. Similarly, low price, free books, and free chapters were among the top “benefits” of ereading cited.
Thirty percent of respondents said that they would wait three months to buy the ebook version of a new title from a favorite author, while 24 percent would buy the hardcover and 34 percent weren’t sure what they would do. (That’s not too different than Verso Digital’s survey, which found 28 percent of ebook readers would entertain prices of up to $20 and 37 percent had no firm opinion about ebook prices yet.)
Of course all consumer surveys should be taken as indicator windows rather than hard data–among the findings, a lot of people named the nook as what they read on electronically, even though the survey was conducted before the reader was released.