Will E-books Raise or Lower the Total Value of Publishing?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

e-book and print books

By Edward Nawotka

Today’s feature story discusses the effort to determine the total value of the global book industry. Statistical analysis initially suggests that sum is €80 billion. With the increasing adoption of e-books by readers in the coming years, do you anticipate this will inflate or depress the total sum? On one hand e-books are priced significantly lower than print books, but when you consider they already account for as much as 60% of revenue for some companies in the education market in places like the United States (the largest market in the world), their impact has already been factored in to some extent. Likewise, while the current analysis does not include the Middle East or Africa, e-books are a virtual non-factor in these regions to date and do not look to be making any in-roads in the near future.

On aggregate, it looks likely that the €80 billion number will remain relatively stable, as lower e-book prices are compensated for by increased purchases on the part of book buyers as they adopt more tablets and reading devices. One company, Sideways, predicted at the London Book Fair that as many as 100 million tablet devices might be in use around the globe within the next few years.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.