E-book retailers report that overall sales continued to rise moderately in the second quarter of 2004, with a 5% increase in units sold and a 23% increase in revenues over the same period in 2003, according to the Open eBook Forum's quarterly report. Publishers reporting to OeBF, however, noted softer results, with unit sales down 1% and revenues down 2%.

While retailer sales continue to grow, Nick Bogaty, executive director of the OeBF, was quick to point out that the numbers were affected by two significant factors. The report no longer includes sales for that quarter from B&N.com, which stopped selling e-books late in 2003, Bogaty explained, and Amazon.com chose not to submit sales figures for the latest quarter. Bogaty said that Amazon.com did not explain why it is not reporting.

Bogaty acknowledged the dropoff in publisher results for the period. "We're not sure why," he said, "but we're looking for a rebound in the third quarter." Bogaty said that fourth- and first-quarter e-book sales are usually high because of the purchase of PDAs as gifts around the holidays. "Then people look for e-books for their devices," he said. "We think the dip in e-book sales may be a seasonal thing."

Retailers reporting to the OeBF survey sold 389,852 dowloadable units worth $3 million in sales in the second quarter of 2004. In the same period, publishers reporting to the OeBF released 825 titles and sold 357,563 units worth $1.9 million.

These figures are based on the reports of 22 publishers and retailers who report to the OeBF. For the complete report, visit the OeBF Web site (www.openebook.org).