E-books, books that you can read on your computer, are becoming more and more important in the market. market observation currently wants almost $6000 to tell your company the market share forecast. They now account for 21% of book sales.
E-books would clearly appeal to people who have more interests and ideas than space to store content. Corresponding market observation, The market is growing at around 20% annually. One source describes it this way:
The global eBook market is driven by advances in technology and the sophistication of readers that offer an experience similar to reading a physical book. The increasing use of smartphones and multilingualism are expected to boost global demand for eBooks.
“eBook Market Overview (2022-2032)” below Future Market Insights
A big topic was of course the “return” of books probably already read: “After months of hate from high-profile authors and publishers, Amazon’s change will reportedly prevent a self-service return of a Kindle e-book for a full refund if a consumer has read more than 10 percent of the text.” September 22, 2022 (Publisher Perspectives) This used to cost the authors, but it should be a comparatively simple solution.
The dominant players in the market are said to be Amazon, Georg Von Holtzbrinck, Hachette Livre, HarperCollins Publishers, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson, Penguin Random House, Rakuten Kobo, Simon & Schuster. For self-publishers, some e-book templates are free.
Will e-books sink the publishing industry? It depends who you’re talking to. In 2009 we could read: “Oxford University Press Bigwig Evan Schnittman predicted that e-books will never take off – because if they did, the publishing industry would be screwed.” Well, e-books took off and publishing took off continue as before.
A 20-year-old astutely observed in 2011: “While those of us who still remember dial tones may struggle, the digital natives expect flexible, interactive experiences of using the Internet; and it will certainly be no different if they wish to consume their literature.”
dial-up phones? Is this Everyone? O Heaven! Some of us are old enough to remember, “Hello operator. Please connect me to Long Distance. Many Thanks. I’d like to speak to someone in Minneapolis; that’s in the United States. I can spell it if there’s any trouble…”
The biggest problem with e-books is of course piracy. But in this respect, digital methods are as much friend as foe. For example, a digital system can recognize how far into a book a reader has read.
As some industry insiders have pointed out, a lot of people just like physical books, period. So the collector’s market will continue. Publishing expert Karen McDermott also told Forbes’ Business Council last year that audiobooks will continue to grow to keep up with ideas when reading isn’t practical.