The Canadian publishing industry has been embracing digital in a big way. In a few short years almost everyone is putting out e-books the same day the print version is available.
Booknet Canada released new information and the report states that the percentage of publishers producing e-books in 2014 increased slightly to 93% (vs 89% in 2013). Of those producing ebooks, close to half have digitized more than 50% of their active titles, and almost a quarter have converted over 75% of their backlist titles. The majority of publishers (65%) choose to publish print and e-book formats of a title simultaneously, while 29% delay the e-book edition until after the print version is available. When asked for the main reasons to publish ebooks, the most popular response was to increase sales (77%), followed closely by to meet customer demand (63%). Only 5% cited “as a mechanism to lower costs” as a reason to produce e-books–a noticeable drop from 15% in 2013. The development of enhanced e-books and apps remained fairly steady from 2013 to 2014, whereas more publishers are publishing digital originals: from 27% in 2013 to 35% in 2014.
The main sales channel was e-book retailers (95%), followed by direct (66%) and wholesale (43%). E-book retailers also generated the most revenue for 69% of respondents, while only 12% reported receiving the most revenue through their direct sales channel. The percentage of publishers offering direct sales is up significantly, however–from 42% in 2013 to 66% in 2014. The majority of publishers (69%) report that e-book sales make up 1-10% of their revenue, while 17% of publishers derive 11-20% of their revenue from e-book sales. As for libraries, the majority of publishers surveyed (75%) sell e-books to libraries, up from 61% in 2013.
BookNet Canada’s Director of Customer Relations, Pamela Millar, says, “This report demonstrates a high level of commitment by Canadian publishers and multinationals to include e-books in their offerings, and to continue digitizing their backlist titles.”
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.