E-books are sort of a boon to avid readers and publishers but bane to printing presses. Technological advancements in any field have improved and benefited many entities of any businesses’ supply chain. The e-book market has capitalized on the technological advancement in a huge way as the global e-readers have increased from time to time and will continue to do so in the future as the demand for sustainability, reduction of environmental hazards and reduction in leaving carbon footprint will play an important role to maintain the resources. The last decade of technological innovations have proved to be a game changer for publishing industry as the wings of expansion to newer markets and newer technologies has allowed digital medium to be the driving force for greater sales and rapid increase in readerships. E-books segments are vast; from entertainment to educational institutions are increasingly migrating to a much lighter, sustainable and innovative measure as compared to paper books.
The global e-book sales have drastically climbed, as a result the top five publication houses see their 1/4th of revenues to have stemmed from digital sales. The global e-book market accounted for US $859 million in 2012 and estimated to reach $970 million by the end of 2013. According to Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, e-books sales will surpass paper books starting in 2013 and will continue to hold a strong ground for the future to come. Going by the demand and conversion, e-books sales are expected to reach $9.6 billion by 2016, according to Forester. The main driving force is the increased digital readers and internet users across developed and developing nations that are rapidly moving to digital space for various purposes. The growth in e-book format last year was one of the major leader in utilization e-commerce as online retailers such as Amazon accounted for 45% of sales and the revenue earned was approximately $383 million in 2012.
Amazon Kindles sales are a huge business and their revenue earned accounts for a substantial percentage of the entire profit because of the public admiration and acceptance that has grown, and going by the reports, a good number of kindle buyers are likely to read more e-books in the 12 months than compared to the time before purchasing the device. The reason being, Amazon sells their hardware at a reasonable cost as the Kindle e-reader and high profile Android tablets are priced at a discounted hardware price as compared to the competitions in the market. Apple, however has started to enter market through iPad, and only few French publishers have signed with them to sell e-books on certain contracts that are majorly in agency terms. Amazon has not managed to obtain permission from French publishers to sell their e-books yet. French publishers are working towards a bill on fixed prices on e-books in order to keep maximum control over their books in the digital environment.
E-books market share are not stagnant or predict a single player to lead the market. The major aspects of e-books sale depend upon the pricing strategies, previews, following the previous leader and the market performance and many other that decide the companies’ market share. According to Forester, Europe will be the largest e-books market with $19 billion by 2017, followed by North America and Asia Pacific.