Industry Notes: Canada’s Shifts in Ebook and Print; London Book Fair Plans a Writer’s Digest Day

In News by Porter Anderson

In Canada, BookNet data shows ebook sales are slightly up, with a 20% market share. In the UK, a new author conference is announced by London Book Fair and Writer’s Digest.

Chain bookstores–this one is in Toronto–are the second most popular venue for book buying after online retailers, according to BookNet Canada. Image – iStockphoto: Mike in London

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Print Slightly Down, Ebooks Slightly Up
Publishing industry service organization BookNet Canada reports that in the first six months of 2017, Canadian book buyers have spent $398 million on print books in the English-language trade market.

Compared to the same period last year, this represents a decline of 2.7 percent.

Consumer surveys of 966 book-buying Canadians in the first half of this year suggest a 3-percent rise in a stated preference for ebooks year-over-year. Ebooks are estimated to represent some 20 percent of the market share in Canada. Paperbacks are credited with 51 percent of Canada’s book sales, and hardbacks with 23 percent.

What’s more, online shopping—encompassing e-commerce sites, mobile app purchases, and ebook and audiobook downloads—are showing strong gains over the first six months of 2016, up between 50 and 52 percent year-over-year.

Chain bookstores are the second most popular way to buy books, according to BookNet Canada, reliably accounting for some 25 percent of market share.

BookNet has more information on the Canadian market at its site, including a full 2016 market report available for purchase. The complete 2017 edition of the Canadian Book Market report is expected to be released in the latter part of next March.

F+W and London Book Fair Plan UK Author Event

Orna O’Brien, who directs conference events for London Book Fair, has announced a November 11 event called The Writer’s Summit, a one-day program for writers in cooperation with F+W’s Writer’s Digest.

Tickets are priced at £95 (US$125). O’Brien is designing the day as a chance to “explore new opportunities in publishing and help to develop successful writing careers.”

Sam Missingham, formerly of The Bookseller and HarperCollins—currently producing LoungeBooks—is participating, as are editor Scott Pack and authors Dean Crawford and Fanny Blake.

Writer’s Digest’s success as a publishing vertical lies in its cultivation of aspirational writers and instructional guidance across multiple platforms. Based in Cincinnati, the company stages large conferences for writers annually, the next one being the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference at the Midtown Hilton on Sixth Avenue in New York. That one is nearing a sellout for its dates, August 18-20.

Orna O’Brien

In a prepared statement, O’Brien is quoted, saying, “With the wealth of choice available it can be challenging for authors to select the most appropriate paths towards publication. This event is designed to present the options and help authors to navigate through this sometimes complicated landscape, while providing hints and tips on how to be successful and generate income from their work.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with Writer’s Digest to deliver a compelling programme which will appeal to writers, and particularly those at the early stages of their careers.”

James Woollam

And speaking for F+W, UK Writer’s Digest managing director James Woollam is quoted, saying, “Writer’s Digest is proud to be a world-leading resource for aspiring writers. The Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York is a flagship industry event and we are delighted to be working with The London Book Fair team to bring a similar experience to London.

“We’re tremendously excited about the opportunity for writers in what we see as a publishing environment full of opportunity. This conference will tackle some of those key opportunities with insight, ideas and practical actions for writers to take away from the day.”

The event in November is to be set at South Bank’s Coin Street Conference Centre.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.