OPERATIONS

Readers pay attention to e-books and social media, prefer Amazon

BY Dan Berthiaume

Portsmouth, R.I. — Readers now prefer e-books to printed paperbacks and use social media to help make purchase decisions, and Amazon.com is the overwhelming first choice for book purchases. Results of a survey of almost 3,000 readers conducted by novelist Marie Force show that 77% of respondents read e-books and 52% read paperbacks, although multiple answers to this questions were allowed meaning some readers may use both formats.

In addition, Amazon.com is the overwhelming favorite book retailer, used by nearly 80% of respondents. Barnes & Noble came in a distant second with 23% of respondents buying books there. Nearly 58% of respondents have not visited a brick and mortar bookstore in the last year or have only done so twice. Twenty-five percent visit a bookstore once a month and 20% visit a brick and mortar bookstore twice a month or more.

Other results indicate the importance of social media, especially Facebook, in promoting books. When asked about where they get their information about authors, readers indicated author websites (63%) and Facebook (62%) were the places they were most likely to go for information. When it comes to finding information about books, 18% listed Facebook as their primary source, followed by retail sites at 17%, Goodreads at 13% and author websites at 13%.

Sixty percent of those surveyed said they do not follow their favorite authors on Twitter, whereas 87% say they follow their favorite authors on Facebook. Also 53% of readers say they are "somewhat" swayed by reviews, and when asked which reviews are most important to them, 50% chose reviews posted by other readers to retail sites

"The results of this survey more or less confirm what some of the more business-savvy authors already knew," said Force. "E-books are a huge and growing part of the market, paperback books still matter to many consumers, the reviews that are most influential to potential readers are those left on retail sites by other readers, and the author name is the brand that matters most in the digital age. We suspected these things, but now we can prove them."

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Socialbliss enters social commerce arena

BY Dan Berthiaume

Irvine, Calif. — Photo-sharing site Socialbliss is launching a new social commerce platform called Marketplace. The Socialbliss Marketplace gives users the ability to list their own items for sale and link those pieces to inspiration images already existing on the site. This allows a viral conversation to begin which can lead to an item being sold.

Listing is free and backed by a 20% commission fee structure. Globally shoppable inventory on Socialbliss has hit $4.8 million.

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OPERATIONS

NRF: Industry added 37,000 jobs in July

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation said the retail industry added 37,000 jobs in the month of July, with increases in general merchandise, food and beverage and building and garden supply stores.

“Contrary to the record increases on Wall Street, employment continues to be a lagging indicator of the recovering economy,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Despite the underwhelming and discouraging job gains in July, NRF expects the economy to pick up in the third and fourth quarters. The employment trend is positive, yet lackluster.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that the economy added 162,000 jobs in July, which lowered the unemployment rate to 7.4%.

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