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Amazon and Kobo tie for title of favorite e-book seller in survey

The survey was conducted by the site Good e-Reader among participants whom Good e-Reader estimated buy between 50 and 100 books a year.

By Staff writer / January 31, 2014

A commuter reads an e-book on an Amazon Kindle on the subway in Cambridge, Mass.

Brian Snyder/Reuters

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Congratulations to Amazon – and Kobo. According to a poll, the two companies are neck-and-neck for the title of the favorite e-book service of frequent readers.

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Staff writer

Molly Driscoll is a Books and the Culture staff writer.

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The website Good e-Reader recently conducted a survey of 250 site users. Good e-Reader estimates that their visitors are often comfortable with new technology and buy between 50 and 100 books a year. The site also estimates that visitors usually have more than one e-reader in a household.

When asked about their favorite company from which to buy e-books, Amazon and Kobo tied for first place with about 35 percent each. Barnes & Noble came in second, capturing about 10 percent of the vote, and Sony coming in third with 6 percent.

Another recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that the amount of adults who had read an e-book in 2013 rose from 23 percent in 2012 to 28 percent in 2013.

Amazon is well-known for its Kindle devices and Kobo is the e-reader of choice for many independent bookstores, with the company working with the American Booksellers Association to sell Kobo devices and e-books at indie locations. ABA member stores take some of the revenue for any Kobo product sold, according to the ABA.

Recently, Amazon created a program titled Amazon Source in which it offered indie stores in some states the chance to sell Kindles. According to Wired, some told writer Marcus Wohlsen that the 10 percent offered to indie sellers by the company is twice what Kobo participants receive.

Amazon spokesperson Kinley Pearsall told the New York Times soon after the announcement that “the interest we’ve seen… has been very strong,” but many booksellers reacted to the Amazon program with disbelief and scorn. 

“Marie Antoinette might like to go into the guillotine business,” Richard Howorth, owner of the Mississippi store Square Books, told Publishers Weekly.

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