Monthly Archives: February 2010

Verso Reader Survey at the ABA’s Winter Institute

We were honored that the American Bookseller Association asked our own Jack McKeown (alias @bookateur) to present the keynote at this year’s  Winter Institute — and excited at the chance to expand on the “Indie Mindshare vs. Marketshare” meme that is developing out of the first Verso Survey of Book-Buying Behavior. After the great conversations that started at Digital Book World, we knew independent bookstores would have a lot to say about our results. And did they ever! The twitter activity was off the charts and is still rolling a week later (thanks to @jchristie for creating the archive). See below for a small sampling of Winter Institute press and tweets that mention Verso’s Survey.

Some of the Press

Bookselling This Week wrote, “For 90 minutes on Thursday morning at the Winter Institute, booksellers zeroed in on the provocative aspects of consumer demographics and book-buying preferences offered by Jack McKeown…”

The day after the keynote, Shelf Awareness called it a “well-received breakfast keynote [that] many booksellers said gave them both hope and ideas for concrete action.”

Publishers Weekly reported that “Jack McKeown’s keynote on Verso Advertising’s survey of consumer book-buying habits was a relief . . . [highlighting] potential opportunities for independents to be in the digital space.”

In their wrap-up of the Winter Institute, Shelf Awareness wrote, “After the first day of sessions on technological trends, many booksellers felt overwhelmed and feared an e-future that would bypass bookstores. But the next morning, the mood changed, beginning with a presentation by Jack McKeown…”

The news was even picked up in Australia. From the PNP Booksellers Blog: “Even though [the Verso Survey] was about US readers there is a tonne of relevant information for the Australian market…..”

Some of the hundreds of Tweets

Verso’s stats about indie mindshare are definitely heartening #dbw  [full results here: ] –@vsandbrook, 2/11/10

Thoughts from #WI5: from the Verso survey: How can indies convert mindshare into marketshare? — @corpuslibris, 2/9/10

RT @permanentpaper Reader stats A+ RT @DBerthiaume: Complete #WI5 presentation Verso survey results  –@WNBA_NATIONAL 2/8/10

Hey indies! RT @DBerthiaume Complete #WI5 slide presentation of Verso survey results now up at — @vertigobooks 2/8/10

Beyond thrilled to be hearing ebook convo based on DATA, not just feelings and anecdotes. Many thanks to @bookateur. #Wi5 /via @bookavore  @oblongirl 2/5/10

RT @BooksellersNZ: #Wi5 check out for insightful research of importance to booksellers — @KatMeyer 2/5/10

Feel much more encouraged & excited on #wi5 day two! :) — @AvidBookshop 2/4/10 (tweeted after Verso Survey Presentation)

Over 45% of males 18-34 download pirated copies. Bad boys. Whatcha gonna do? #wi5 — @yrstrulyREL 2/4/10

Hooray, data bears out that a large chunk of people are interested in bundling. Hope pubs saw this at DBW. #Wi5 — @bookavore, 2/4/10

RT @AvidBookshop: Thinking the same!RT @bookavore: Search engine marketing needs to be priority for indies. Good thing I went to a panel on it yesterday. #Wi5 –@JogglingBoard, 2/4/10

RT @bookavore: “Think about older market as cash cow to pay for experimentation with younger market.” #Wi5 –@NVbibliophile, 2/4/10

Interestingly, much of @bookateur’s #wi5 keynote applies to niche publishing, too. “Community, convenience and price.” –@glecharles, 2/4/10

Cannot tell last time I’ve seen “hissy fit” in PowerPoint. <3 @bookateur. Good job doing #s in early AM. #wi5 –@SarahRettger, 2/4/10

Verso Survey in the News

The recent Digital Book World conference was one of the best run and most useful conferences we’ve been part of in recent years. It did a great job of airing necessary conversations and forging new ideas about the present and future of our industry. We couldn’t have picked a better place to debut the initial results of our Consumer Survey.  This is an industry that’s ready for hard data. There has been a lot of talk going on related to the conference over the last week, easily trackable with Digital Book World’s own link round-up, here.

If you want to focus on what people are saying, reporting and questioning about the Verso Survey Results in particular, however, here’s a list of some of the talk our survey helped generate:

Publishers Weekly reports that “Verso’s Jack McKeown offered a consumer book survey that acted as a counterweight to Napack’s manifesto…”

On the Digital Book World blog, Guy LeCharles Gonzalez comments on our survey results, “Indie Mindshare Offers an Opportunity…”

The Philadelphia Social Media Examiner cites Verso’s “massive” survey results in the article headlined “Nervous publishing community braces for the e-book revolution…”

Pete Nikolai uploaded the Survey slides to Business Week’s “Business Exchange” site, with brief commentary.

Library Journal mentions the survey in their article, “Digital Book World Attendees Address Changing Future of Reading.”

Industry media reporters Galley Cat reports that the Verso presentation was well-received, “cheering up the publishing crowd.”

In Huffington Post, Steve Ross comments on Verso’s “significant amount of relevant and at times meaningful demographic information…”

Also, here‘s Galley Cat talking about Verso’s pinpointing “Publishing’s Statistical Sweet Spot.”

Publishing industry newsletter, Publishers Lunch headlines an article, “Verso Presents Consumer Survey; Asks Why Indie Market Share Is So Much Lower than Mindshare.”

Industry newsletter Publishing Trends is not available without subscription, but here’s a glimpse of their report on the conference:

Publishing Trends on Verso Surveyy
Publishing Trends on Verso Survey


FSG’s Ryan Chapman: “Verso’s Jack McKeown notes that people who go through the effort of downloading illegal copies, for the most part, represent an opportunity for booksellers….”

Dainty Ninja: “Among the findings was one surprising bit of data that could be a sign of encouragement for beleaguered US independent booksellers…”

Paul Biba led off his Teleread post with “Dedicated e-book readers won’t be the easiest sell if you go by Verso’s 2009 Survey of Book Buying Behavior—presented at DigitalBookWorld…”

Mick Rooney on the Verso Survey Presentation, “It was perfect, and set the tone among delegates for the rest of the day….”


@MJRose BTW, I think studies such as Verso’s and BISG’s on book buying behavior are very valuable. –@DonLinn

If you’re an indie bookseller,you need to see Verso’s #DBW presentation and think abt converting mindshare to mkt share –@DonLinn

“Turning Indie mindshare to marketshare” Fantastic title! @bookateur @TatteredCover @DBerthiaume @DonLinn #DBW –@AnnKingman

RT@GalleyCat: RT@eBookNewser: Generation Lost? #DBWverso: 2/3rds of avid readers  surveyed are 45 or older; 28%  are in the 18+ bracket #DBW –@CitrusNaNo

RT @DigiBookWorld: RT @ljndawson: Survey says even avid readers who own ereaders are buying both p-books and e-books. Not mutally exclusive. #DBW #DBWverso  –@coopertjon

RT @DigiBookWorld: RT @ljndawson: Maximum $ willing to pay for ebooks! 28% won’t go above $10. 28% are flexible between $10-20. 37% not sure. #DBW #DBWVerso –@krishvenkatesh

RT @BookPros: RT @RonHogan: RT @ljndawson:Author publicity and instore events are biggest driver to purchase. But author tours are dying! #DBW #DBWverso –@ShennandoahDiaz

RT @KatMeyer: slides from @versodigital will be available on slideshare and — EXCELLENT information. highly recommend #dbwverso #dbw –@toddbeals

am i crazy to think verso study shows demo most likely to pirate books is demo least likely to *buy* them in any format –@Booksquare


CNN’s report on the iPad quotes pundits at the conference and shows Verso’s presentation (don’t blink):

Verso Slides Up on CNN!
Verso Slides Up on CNN!