Bowker Market Research has released the results of a survey of e-book usage in 10 countries. The results are based on the responses from 1,000 consumers in each country who responded to an online survey in early 2012 and show that adoption rates are highest in Australia, India, the U.S. and U.K. and lowest in France and Japan. In addition to already having one of the highest penetration rates, India is also seen as a country where e-book sales are expected to increase the fastest since over 50% of respondents said they intend to buy an e-book in the next six months (the other country with similar expectations is Brazil).

In general consumer awareness of e-books is high with at least 80% of the online respondents saying they know it is possible to download an e-book. With the exception of the U.S. and U.K., men were more likely to buy and e-book than women (in Brazil and Spain the percentages were even). In almost all markets, the older the respondents, the report found, the less likely they are to have recently purchased an e-book. Purchase rates in India, Brazil, the U.K., U.S. and France are highest in the 25–34 age group, with Australia, Spain, Germany, South Korea and Japan highest among 18-24 year olds.

The numbers of e-books downloaded in the past six months within genres indicates significant differences between countries. In the U.K. and Australia the concentration is on adult fiction, while in India and South Korea the concentration is on both professional/business and academic/textbooks.

The minimum number of respondents in each country was 1,000, and samples were designed and weighted to be representative of the adult (18+) population in terms of age, sex and region, but were by definition drawn from the online population only.

Findings from the survey, the Global eBook Monitor, will be presented at two webinars hosted by BISG on April 2 and April 23. For registration details, contact BISG.