We came across this interesting 2014 survey of romance reader statistics put out by the Romance Writers of America.
While the whole article is a MUST read for romance authors, there's one section that may be of interest to all of you who are publishing through small presses:
Which stores have they (readers) bought from most often?
Physical store (top five):
(1) Barnes & Noble
(4) Used bookstore
(5) Supermarket/grocery store
Online store (top five):
Hello? Ebooks.com, anyone? Not B&N and not Apple's iBooks, but Ebooks.com --? we have never seen or heard that before from any author or any publisher. So that is a "Wow" moment.
So you go to ebooks.com and you look at their information on how to be listed in their online store, and this is what they say:
How can I get my books onto eBooks.com?
Arrangements are made between your publisher and eBooks.com to license the sale of your book through the eBooks.com website. If you are interested in seeing your titles on www.eBooks.com, please ask your publisher to contact us at email@example.com
Will eBooks.com be signing up authors and agents direct?
No, and the reason is simple. Unless the title is 'born digital' the eBook is the hardcopy published edition available electronically: same pages, layout, contents, illustrations, indexes and so on. Our objective is to provide eBooks that are virtually identical to the printed version. The publisher of a book retains certain rights over the finished design and layout of a book, and it is therefore necessary for us to reach agreement with the publisher before we can replicate the published work. When authors approach us directly, we ask them to contact us through their originating publishers.