SURVEY: Is the E-book Boom Over in Mature Markets?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Visitors test e-reading devices at the Frankfurt Book Fair (Photo © Frankfurt Book Fair)

In today’s feature story Andy Richardson of Influential Software discusses the dangers of treating e-books as a commodity. In the piece he argues that if e-books do not prove to be a new market for publishers, but rather merely a format shift for the rather limited audience of existing readers, there may be ultimately disappointed in the long-term outcome and impact on their bottom line as prices for digital products go lower and lower.

Much of his argument is predicated on data which suggests that e-book consumption and adoption may be plateauing in mature markets—an question that Michael Bhaskar of Profile books also raised in these pages earlier this month.

So tell us, do you believe the e-book consumption is plateauing or leveling off in mature markets like the United States and UK? Or will increasingly attractive devices and product innovation, i.e. multimedia and enhanced e-books, bring in new customers? Or are there simply too many variables left to be able to determine anything at this point?

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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.