One of the chief complaints about the publishing industry at present is that traditional publishing works on an outdated model. As more and more book stores face closing their doors, some blame the publishing industry as a whole for simply not keeping up with the trends. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the 204-year-old publishing house that has known a few great names in its day (think Edgar Allan Poe, for example), saw a threefold rise in its ebook sales in the first three quarters of this year, which still only brought the percentage of their professional and trade sales in digital format up to eleven percent. But Wiley & Sons is looking to change that.
Of those titles in that small percentage, most are instructional materials, like the popular For Dummies series and several major cookbooks. Instructional content lends itself perfectly to e-readers, since most people who are relying on some form of instruction manual are not necessarily reading it from the comfort of a living room arm chair, but rather, in an on-the-go situation where the text is needed as a reference. While some readers may be a little apprehensive about bringing their digital devices to the kitchen counter top to look up a recipe, the reading format lends itself well to a variety of situations in which information is needed at the touch of a button.
As for the rest of Wiley & Sons’ sales, across various niches the digital content, including ebooks, accounted for forty percent of sales in this fiscal year. Part of the push in sales has to do in large part with the publishing house signing key deals with ebook distribution platforms, including the German Amazon store. The publisher has done a decent job of acquiring companies and platforms that can increase its reach in this area, such as the purchase of a large UK academic publisher a few years ago. Wiley & Sons are still in the market for acquiring new sources of technological and digital companies in an effort to continue to be forward thinking in their ebook growth.