Internet Book Sales More than Double in Germany

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.

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