The Panorama Project is trying to determine, in part, the impact of library e-book use on sales. The project has completed its first report, on an OverDrive Big Library Read. The results suggest that, at least for a targeted e-book event, libraries do call attention to and foster sales of books, benefiting authors and publishers.
RF looks forward to other reports on more typical library e-book scenarios. Let’s see if the link between library use and discovery/purchase of titles, which libraries have long argued anecdotally, can be further verified.
“I'm delighted to announce that the Panorama Project has released its first research report. The project’s Community Reading Event Impact Report presents findings on the impact of a recent OverDrive Big Library Read (BLR) community reading campaign. First-time author Jennifer McGaha’s Flat Broke With Two Goats (Sourcebooks, 2018) was selected for the April 2018 public library ebook club event. The data analyzed by the project shows that the selection and promotion of the title for the April 2–16, 2018 event aligns with significant increases in associated social media activity and retail print/ebook sales.
Discovery Impact from the Campaign
5.6 million page views globally of the ebook title details page in public library digital catalogs.
An increase in title’s Amazon Kindle sales rank—from below 200,000 prior to the library ebook club campaign to 7,833 at the close of the event.
Brand Development Impact from the Campaign
Over 13,000 Goodreads additions for the title during the campaign.
400+ comments from readers, librarians, the author, and OverDrive forum moderator on the OverDrive moderated title discussion board.
500+ mentions from libraries and readers on social media sites using #BigLibraryRead.
Retail Sales Impact from the Campaign
818% growth in ebook sales from March to April, 2018.
201% growth in print sales from March to April, 2018.
Sustained retail sales above pre-campaign (January–March 2018) volumes:
April–June 2018 ebook sales continued at 720% above pre-campaign volumes.
April–June 2018 print sales continued at 38% percent above pre-campaign volumes.
Data was aggregated from a number of sources to obtain the most holistic view possible of all library and retail sales activity (print and ebook) across multiple channels. The data sources include U.S. retail data from The NPD Group’s DecisionKey® retail book sales tracking service (formerly Bookscan™), U.S. public library ebook circulation data provided by OverDrive, and U.S. sales and marketing data from the publisher. In addition to sales data we have aggregated and incorporated promotional activities known to have been undertaken independently by OverDrive and Sourcebooks.
This is the first of several library impact research projects that we are working on. The report demonstrates how we are using library and retail data to develop a better understanding of the impact of the country’s public libraries on book discovery, author/brand development, and retail sales. We believe that the publication of this first report will serve as a catalyst for others in the publishing community to engage with the project. We are grateful for the contributions and support of Sourcebooks and the members of our Advisory Council—all of whom have provided insightful and helpful feedback.
View/Download the Report
Thank you for your support!
Panorama Project Lead”