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.

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

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.

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.