Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Press Release from Stephen Hunt


71% of readers consuming e-books, finds new survey (with only 19% pirating them)

(London/New York—29th June 2011). In the largest e-book survey of its kind to date with 836 respondents, author Stephen Hunt polled readers about how they are using new e-book technologies such as the Kindle and Apple’s iBook software, with some startling results.

Headline figures

The majority of people are now reading e-books — 71% — but in a much more diverse way than the brand wars between Amazon, Apple, Sony etc. suggest; using multiple devices and software apps to read novels.

Of those who don’t yet read e-books, 69% are planning on getting one. This will take e-book penetration up to 91% — with a minority of 9% holding out and willing to read paper only.

Diverse platform support is paying dividends for Amazon — only 35% have Kindle hardware, but 53% are buying e-books from them.

Only 19% are pirating e-books through file sharing systems such as BitTorrent.

There is a direct selling opportunity for publishers and authors — 39% are currently buying direct from publisher web sites, and 25% from authors. The latter figure may rise, now that JK Rowling is supplying direct with PotterMore!

Commenting on the survey results, Stephen said, “The seismic shift in book publishing is continuing, with the majority of readers now consuming fiction in e-book format, a figure which looks like it’s going to top out at over 90% of market size in the near future. For the two main surviving bookshop chains – Waterstones and Barnes & Noble, this means that supplying digital demand will be key to their survival. There is excellent news here for both authors and publishers. The close relationship between authors and their readers is limiting e-book piracy to under 20%. There is also a healthy attitude to buying ‘direct from the farm’, with an appetite for purchasing e-books directly from both publishers and authors… a quarter purchasing direct from the author, and nearly 40% heading for the publishers’ web sites to buy.”

Stephen Hunt polled his readers online in June 2011 using his own websites as well as his FaceBook and Twitter followers. There were 833 completed surveys from 836 respondents. 88% of respondents were from the English speaking market (UK/USA/Canada/Ireland/New Zealand/Australia), with the majority of the balance from Europe and a couple of percent from Asia.

The full survey results can be found in Adobe PDF format (5.0mb download) at

Stephen Hunt is a best-selling writer of adventure, thriller and fantasy novels. His latest novel, Jack Cloudie, is published 6th July 2011 (from HarperCollins Voyager). His novels are published by HarperCollins in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and by Macmillan Tor in the USA. They have appeared in translation in China, Japan, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany and Russia.

An online trailblazer, before becoming an author, Hunt was a digital publisher and editor for the Financial Times and launched some of the world’s first online magazines such as His own web sites can be found at and

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