Digital Books may have hit the proverbial glass ceiling in North America but across the world they are starting to really catch on. This is most evident in Japan, where readers are spending the most amount of money on e-Books.
According to a new research report by Statista, Japanese readers have spent the most money on e-books per individual user, around $86.50. Following closely behind are digital readers in the U.K. who have spent on average $84.00. In contrast readers based in the United States will spend on average $46 on e-books.
Are you surprised that the average Japanese reader spends the most money on e-books? You shouldn’t because the digital publishing industry in Japan classifies manga as an e-book and all of the sales they garner gets lumped together alongside e-books.
In Japan manga accounts for 80% of all digital book sales. It’s not hard to see the appeal. Digital manga can be taken on the go, kept on a slim device instead of hauling books in a bag. And with a generation already glued to their smartphones, it almost seems easier to read digitally.
I read a report recently about the stark contrast between the US comic book industry and Japanese Manga. If a single comic sells over 100,000 copies in the US it is considered a bestseller. But over in Japan things get really crazy. One Piece sold 11,885,957 copies in 2014, while Attack on Titan proved to be quite popular, selling 11,728,368 titles. Haikyu!! managed to sell a staggering 8,283,709 copies and upstart Tokyo Ghoul sold over 6,946,203.
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.