Sunday, May 21, 2006
- 'Long tail' of online book sales: A recent study by O'Reilly Research provided data, some of which came from Google Book Search, to support the assertion online access drives usage of content that is generally not available in print. The results provided support for the "long tail" theory. The top 10% of print titles delivered 53% of all unit sales. Those same titles provided 25% of Safari page views. By the second 10% of print titles, the relative level of access is close, at 19% and 18% respectively, and by the third decile, there is a greater percentage of Safari page views for the titles than the percentage of books sold. At the end of the tail, the data showed substantial Safari usage of books that didn't sell any copies in print. The results showed how steep the print sales graph is and how much flatter the online access graph is. With Google Book Search, which has older books, 27% of page views come from books generating only 2% of unit sales and fully 47% come from books generating only 9% of unit sales.