Canadian publishing companies are increasingly becoming enamoured with focusing on digital. Close to 90% of publishers currently produce ebooks, and the remainder are either in the process of starting to produce ebooks, or plan to produce them in the future.
Digital books is big business with major publishing companies reporting that 10% of their entire revenue stream derives from eBooks. Boutique and smaller publishers have stated that their sales fluctuate, with 1-10% of their sales, on average, stemming from eBooks.
When it comes to customers buying eBooks, 93% of all publishers have said that they do business with Kobo. While, 83% of publishers also elect to do business with Amazon to have their content available on Kindles. Apple placed a strong third, with 76% of publishers choosing to sell ebooks in
the iBookstore. Google, B&N and Sony had more less than 50% of Canadian publishers distributing to their ecosystems, and data suggests it mainly the larger publishing companies.
What are the barriers for digital adoption in Canada right now? The majority of traditional publishers (53%) do not have a staff member specifically dedicated to digital. While 100% of large publishers and 71% of mid-size publishers have a dedicated digital staff member, only 31% of small publishers do. Another barrier is lack of new titles being digitized. Almost half (49%) of all respondents have more than 50% of their active print titles available as ebooks, and 19% reported that 100% of their active list is available in a digital format.
In order for the publishing industry in Canada to thrive small and medium companies need to devote more resources to their digital infrastructure. Having at least one staff member to facilitate the digital conversion is essential and making sure your entire catalog is available will boost sales. Most major publishers now have between 22% and 30% of their entire revenue stream derived from the sales of electronic books. This is putting smaller companies under the gun to better compete.
You can read the full report from BookNet Canada.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten 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.