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The Rise of Phone Reading, by WSJ

Stashed in: iPad!, iPhone!, Books!, internet, books, Kindle!, Fan Fiction!, @triketora, Reading

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What has captured publishers’ attention is the increase in the number of people reading their phones. 

In a Nielsen survey of 2,000 people this past December, about 54% of e-book buyers said they used smartphones to read their books at least some of the time. That’s up from 24% in 2012, according to a separate study commissioned by Nielsen. 

The number of people who read primarily on phones has risen to 14% in the first quarter of 2015 from 9% in 2012.

Meanwhile, those reading mainly on e-readers, such as Kindles and Nooks, dropped over the same period to 32% from 50%. Even tablet reading has declined recently to 41% in the first quarter this year from 44% in 2014. 

The rise of phone reading is pushing publishers to rethink the way books are designed, marketed and sold with smaller screens in mind. It’s also prompting concern about whether deep, concentrated thinking is possible amid the ringing, buzzing and alerts that come with phones.

One reason people are reading on phones is convenience. If you’re standing in line at the deli, waiting at the DMV or riding home on the train, you may not have a print book or an e-reader or tablet. But chances are, you are carrying a smartphone. Some 64% of American adults now own a smartphone, up from 35% in the spring of 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. Forrester Research, a research and advisory firm, projects that smartphone subscribers will number 80.8% of the U.S. population by 2019. 

“The best device to read on is the one you have with you,” said Willem Van Lancker, co-founder and chief product officer of the subscription-book service Oyster. “It requires no planning. My bookshelf at home isn’t any good to me when I’m at the park.”

The success and growth of Wattpad is a great example of this. A site for writers and readers. 40 million monthly users with a new user joining every second!

Wow, that's up from 25 million just a year ago:

My impression is that most of the writing on Wattpad is fan fiction. 

Is that true?

Yes, I believe it's fiction/novels. With the company working successfully far outside of Silicon Valley. :)

Fan fiction is a specific kind of fiction that builds on someone else's work.

Wattpad seems particularly well suited to that. 

And yes, outside Silicon Valley has its advantages. 

Yes, you do need some kind of initial hook for the reader to give amateur writers a chance. It sounds like it's working.

Growing 50% year over year sounds like it's working to me, too.

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