We learned yesterday from BusinessWire that Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “E-Books: Market Trends & Insights” report to their ‘offering.’ According to the BusinessWire site, the report presents up-to-date insights into the ebook market worldwide, including countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Spain. Featuring 22 data tables, the 18-page report consists of the following sections: an Introduction, a Market Overview, a Competitive Landscape, and an Appendix.
NSR wanted to purchase this report to share its findings with all who monitor the progress of ebooks’ positive influence on the world (the very reason for NSR’s existence), but, alas, the prohibitive cost of the 18-page document makes it impossible to do so at this time.
I am using this opportunity to reflect, with both respect and disappointment, on the cost of a document of this kind. And here it is, as cited on Research and Market’s website.
- $1495 for a single user (PDF)
- $2093 for 1-5 users (PDF)
- $2840 for 1-10 users (PDF)
- $3588 for 1-15 (PDF)
Investigating trends and researching markets takes time, resources, and a lot of human energy. It almost always involves more than one person and there are expenses along the way for all involved. Those of us who have compiled such reports for publishers and other companies catering to consumers, distributors, and curators of books are no strangers to the process. But on behalf of all independent professionals out there who could use this information today to help them do more with ebooks (not less), I ask: is such a PDF worth $1495 for a single user? And what’s the cost of this same document for an organization of more than 15 users?
People’s and organizations’ efforts should be compensated fairly, but when we — the industry that, at its most fundamental level, is about spreading information based on research and facts — ‘value’ knowledge in a way that makes it inaccessible to all who are willing to ‘move’ the world with it, we are only contributing to keeping the world divided into those who can and those who can’t. We are also encouraging a world in which a Prada purse is ‘worth’ more simply because it costs more.
So, as the title of this post states: A new report on ebook trends is out, but its prohibitive cost makes it immediately affordable only to some. There are a lot of organizations out there that can easily shell out a few thousand to obtain this data for their employees. And many of them are media outlets whose sole purpose is to serve this information to the consumer. But there are also those of us who want to use this information on our own terms. In our own communities. And with our own peers.
A suggestion for Research and Markets: please reconsider the cost of this and similar reports for those of us interested in using their data to promote and encourage more ebook use around the world (including countries not mentioned). For us, it’s not about p vs e. It’s about digital literacy. What sustains us (and our efforts) is the passion for the idea that ebooks can crack the world open in ways yet to be seen. For us, it’s not just reporting. It’s encouragement.
Meanwhile, we look forward to someone else’s reporting on this.