Site of the writer Andrew Wood

A new survey shows that even though the ebook and e-reader market has exploded, publishers might not benefit from huge profits.

“Between the Kindle, Nook, Apple’s iBookstore, and now Google eBooks, its clear that the era of mass market electronic reading is here. And with impressive sales of the major e-reader devices, as well as less common options like the Sony and Kobo readers, it seems clear that the public has embraced the ebook as a viable alternative to traditional print books. And that’s not even mentioning the various e-reader apps for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices.”

This is a boost for small publishers and booksellers but what about the bigger ones? The ones who deal out the likes of John Grisham, James Patterson and Stephen King? They themselves do not know what the long-term effects are going to be when it comes down to revenue.

“A recent survey of 600 publishing houses cited by Publishers Weekly reveals some almost startling facts (more details available from Publishers Weekly):

  • 64% are now offering ebooks (74% in trade houses)
  • Of those avoiding ebooks, 71% had no particular reason to give as to why
  • 66% have no clear idea if they’re even making money from ebook sales
  • 15% said return on investment was better than print titles
  • 13% said their return was lower than print titles”

Maybe the current climb of e-reader and ebook sales will tip the balance against printed titles… maybe not. It won’t occur in the next year or 2 but it will happen eventually.

“Grudgingly or not, the publishers embracing ebooks and new workflows now will probably be the best suites to thrive once that point is reached. In fact nearly half of all publishers surveyed (49%) and more than half of trade publishers (55%) indicated ebooks were of “high importance” to their growth plans.”

At the end of the day this might become a bit of a double-edged sword. Personally I prefer a printed title in my hands… less strain on my eyes!


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