Record eBook Retail Sales Set in Q1 2004

June 4, 2004

Among the 2,000 exhibitors at Book Expo America in Chicago this week, publishers, retailers and technologists are celebrating a new quarterly record for eBook retail sales. eBook units sold for the first quarter 2004 were up 46% and eBook revenues were up 28% over the same quarter in 2003. These and other figures charting the eBook industry are reported in the quarterly Open eBook Forum (OeBF) eBook Statistics Report.

"This quarter eBooks have hit a new high mark for sales," stated Open eBook Forum President Steve Potash. "eBooks represent the fastest growing segment of the publishing industry," he added.

The OeBF's eBook Bestseller list for May was also released today with Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code topping the list for the third straight month. Kevin Ryan's Van Helsing, Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction and Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason's The Rule of Four rounded out the top 5 eBooks on the list. The top 30 bestselling eBooks for May can be found on the Open eBook Forum website at

"In addition to terrific sales and traffic growth to our web store, we are also seeing fast growth in new audience segments, especially to women customers," said Mike Violano, Vice President and General Manager of

Compiled from data submitted by 24 of the world's leading eBook publishers and retailers, the analysis combines both quantitative and qualitative assessments of the electronic publishing industry. Among the study's findings are:


  • Unit Sales: A total of 421,955 eBooks were sold in Q1 2004 alone, a 46% increase over the same period in 2003, during which time 288,440 units were sold.
  • Revenues: $3,233,220 in sales have been logged by retailers in Q1 2004, a 28% increase over the same period in 2003 during which time retailers reported $2,516,469 on sales of eBooks.

A detailed report of the full survey findings and archived reports from 2002 and 2003 are available to OeBF Members only and companies who contributed to the reports. Details on OeBF membership can be found at

Publishers and retailers that contributed to the 1st quarter 2004 survey are:, Elib, E-Reads, Ltd,, Inc., Franklin Electronic Publishers, Hard Shell Word Factory, HarperCollines, Holzbrinck Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Laridian, Love Kush Publications, Mobipocket, Mushroom eBooks, Numilog, OverDrive, Inc., Palm Digital Media,, RAND Corporation, Random House, Inc., Simon & Schuster, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Time Warner Book Group, WORDsearch and Zondervan.

The statistical reports released by the OeBF represent aggregate statistics submitted by reporting companies and does not represent the entire eBook publishing and retail industries. Participating companies that report to the program vary quarter by quarter and the report reflects this variability.

The OeBF collects and releases statistics quarterly. The next report will contain statistics for Q2 2004. All companies including non-OeBF members are welcome and encouraged to participate in the program. A registration form is located at

Members of the media who would like access to the full report and charts should contact Nick Bogaty at 212-924-9081 or

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