Internet Book Sales More than Double in Germany
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According to the Association of German Publishers and Booksellers ("Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels"), the sale of books over the Internet more than doubled in the past year.
In Germany, book sales over the Internet reached a total of DM 387 million (US$170 million) in the year 2000. This is an increase of 129 percent compared to the year before (DM 165 million). Classic booksellers account for one quarter of Internet sales, while three quarters of the sales are covered by Internet-only bookstores. The number of bookstores on the Internet has grown from 1,533 companies (1999) to 2,149 companies.
In the year 2000, the entire German book market had an estimated volume of DM 18.4 billion (US$8.1 billion) at shop prices, which is 2.1 percent more than the year before. The increase was thus somewhat higher than in the three previous years. While sales decreased slightly in the area of professional and scientific magazines, book sales increased by 2.6 percent compared to the year before. However, Internet sales accounted for only about two percent of the total volume of sales.
According to a study carried out by the Booksellers' Association in conjunction with the "Stiftung Lesen", 59 percent of Germans read books at least once a month. Those who use computers often also read more often than average; 22 percent of daily Internet users are also daily book users, and only 11 percent of them read less than once a month or not at all.