Dominique D’Hinnin, the finance chief of Lagardère’s, which owns the book publishing company Hachette Livre says that the E-Book market is pretty much living off of i-bankers’ buying books they’ll never read.
He told the Financial Times:
“We don’t talk about the mass market yet. Most e-book buyers are males, 35 year old, with a lot of money. Basically it’s investment bankers.”
“What we see is an investment banker with an e-book device buys more books than he would with paper books,” he said. “It’s an impulse buy that he may never read. It’s the case with paper books anyway – we all buy books we don’t have time to read – but it’s a larger trend with e-books, because it’s easier to do and faster. So volumes are up, that’s why it’s an opportunity from a publisher point of view – margins are better and volumes are up.”
BUT – he was at a Morgan Stanley TMT conference when he said this, so he may have been playing to his audience a bit, in which case what he really means is that e-books’ biggest market is young(ish) people with disposable income who live in the U.S.
E-books sales make up 9% of book sales in the US, but only 1% in the UK and zero in France, according to the FT.