Bowker’s Current Holdings
Not all the services in Bowker’s Commerce Solutions will go to Nielsen. Sharon Lubrano, general manager of Bowker, says the company will retain Bowker Manuscript Submissions, a service used by authors who want to present their book proposals to publishers and by publishers looking for authors. It will also retain Bookwire, a mobile app for Apple and Android devices powered by Bowker’s Books in Print database, that helps subscribers to Books in Print search and discover more than 20 million book titles, including print, ebooks, audiobooks, and more.
PubTrack is a set of business intelligence tools and services that provide survey data and analysis of the digital and print book market. It covers consumer book-buying behavior by demographics and book purchase preferences, book-buying habits, and book-shopping occasions. PubTrack Higher Education covers college textbook sales information from institutions nationwide in order to provide the college publishing industry with a suite of title-level market and course adoption intelligence tools. PubTrack Digital focuses on the “e” sales collection process with data coverage spanning 3 years targeting two main market segments (e-Tail and Libraries/Distributors). Likewise, PubTrack Christian covers Christian publishers and retailers. The Global eBook Monitor (GeM) annual report tracks consumer purchases of ebooks and attitudes about ebooks in 10 major world markets: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.
Nancy Herther, a frequent contributor to NewsBreaks and ebook expert, weighed in on whether the ebook monitoring by the Nielsen/Bowker acquisition had any strong competition. “In 2011, AAP and BISG joined forces to compile better sales data on the publishing business in their BookStats project,” says Herther. “It is the most comprehensive publisher data compilation yet in the U.S.—but all the released numbers include substantial statistical modeling, so we refer to those numbers as estimates only.” She adds that most systems don’t include self-published ebooks and small-publisher ebooks through etailer programs such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Barnes & Noble’s PubIt, and third-party distributors focused on programs like Smashwords. “The only readily available tabulation of actual publisher e-book revenues comes from the separate monthly and annual compilations that the AAP issues on its own, now called StatShot (to distinguish it from BookStats),” she says.
Now, information and contacts at Nielsen about books are available on its U.K. sites. Nielsen’s U.S. home site doesn’t cover much of its book efforts, but we can assume that will be changing quickly.