By Edward Nawotka
In today’s feature story about the state of the UK book market, Faber Chief Executive Stephen Page noted the increased importance of gifting for physical books and believes “the challenge of gift to digital” is one of the major issues yet to be resolved in the book business. The holiday period typically represents some 25% or more of booksellers annual sales, much of that driven by people buying gifts. While many e-booksellers have implemented “gifting” of e-books, there are several obstacles that limit the appeal of e-books as gifts:
1) Not all people own an e-reader and/or are interested in reading digitally on their phones or computer
2) The intangibility of e-books may make them them less appealing as gifts: You can’t wrap an e-book and put it under the Christmas tree.
3) Many people buy books to give as gifts — including art books and cookbooks — for their “wow” factor, something that is lost in the digital edition.
Still, as digital books become more and more entrenched in our society, attitude towards receiving books as gifts may change. Are their things that publishers can do to make e-books more appealing as gifts?