Trade magazine Printing Impressions recently published a report which stated that many publishers are now earning 10% of their income from eBooks - The results of Aptara’s third annual eBook survey of publishers provide unprecedented insight into eBooks’ real impact on book publishers’ production and business models. Representing more than 1,300 book publishers from the trade, education, professional and corporate markets, the report documents eBook trends, challenges, and strategies that have emerged since Aptara’s first survey in 2009.
eBook survey series is unique in its collection of market intelligence
direct from publishers,” said David Blansfield, president of F+W Media,
parent company of Digital Book World. “To understand who is producing
eBooks, how, why, to what extent—and which platforms and sales channels
are the most targeted versus the most lucrative—is an advantage to any
publisher looking to capitalize on this market’s incredible potential.”
Here are some significant findings from the three Aptara surveys conducted over two years:
One out of five eBook publishers generate more than 10 percent of their
revenues from eBooks. This is a strong statistic for an early-stage
market. Considering the increasing rate of consumer sales projections,
it confirms that the eBook market still has plenty of room for growth.
Trade, more than any other publishing market segment, has aggressively
increased its eBook pursuits. Trade publishers’ rate of eBook production
rose from 50% to 76% in two years.
• Two out of three eBook
publishers have not converted the majority of their backlist (legacy)
titles to eBooks. With higher profit margins than frontlist titles,
these digital assets hold significant untapped revenue potential.
Amazon still dominates distribution...but by a steadily decreasing
margin. Publishers still rely most heavily on Amazon for distribution,
but do so less and less. This trend is more attributed to the
proliferation of other platforms and channels, particularly EPUB-based,
than a decline in actual sales for Amazon. The result is a larger eBook
sales and distribution market.
• Amazon generates the most eBook
sales for Trade publishers, even though a comparatively small percentage
of Trade content is distributed through Amazon. Despite Trade
publishers using all of the main eBook online retailers, Amazon is the
one producing sales—and, presumably, revenue—by a disproportionate
• Publishers’ own eCommerce sites generate the
greatest percentage of sales for all publishing market segments other
than Trade. Despite a decrease in publishers’ reliance on their own
eCommerce sites for distribution, these sites are producing the most
sales for publishers by a significant margin (up to 18%).