A very specific example…

But an example nonetheless. Over at O’Reilly’s Tools Of Change blog, there’s a post which looks at ‘iphone the missing manual’, which has be released as an iphone application (purchased from Apple’s app store) as well as a print book. Obviously, this is a title that you’d probably want to have on your iphone (although it could be tricky troubleshooting a dead iphone when you manual is on the bloody thing itself!!) so it’s a *very* specific example, but the iphone version is selling pretty well. According to the TOC blog:

  • If the iPhone App by itself had been a book, it would be a top 10 seller in BookScan for Computer Books this holiday season, based on just 17 days of sales
  • The print version appears to have been unaffected, retaining a solid position in the top 3 for Computer Books in BookScan
  • A full 1/3 of those buying the app are outside the US, mostly in countries where the print book is not readily available

So there’s a couple of interesting points. It’s possible to have an iphone ebook is a top 10 bestseller in its category against print titles. Again, I’ll caveat the specific nature of this example, but that’s still pretty impressive. And the electronic distribution model provides a significant advantage in international sales.

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