Publishing Industry: Print or Digital?
The publishing business has changed a lot since the invention of e-readers and eBooks. In most countries, the local eBook market is still minuscule compared to print. Publishers can reach more than 100 million eBook buyers or even print buyers, if a book has the potential to reach readers globally. The print-book channel is still a powerful marketing channel for the industry. The book industry has been making a convincing case in the last few years.
According to a statement released by the American Association of Publishers Wednesday, paperback book sales grew 8.8 percent during the first six months of 2016 when compared with the same months in 2015, raking in $1.01 billion. Sales of electronic books, on the other hand, plummeted by 20 percent in the first half of 2016.
Printed books and digital books might share virtually identical content, but the two couldn’t be more different in terms of operating models. According to reports, sales of consumer e-books plunged 17% in the U.K. in 2011. 65% of Americans reported reading a printed book in the past year, compared to only 28% who read an eBook.
The future of print books looks promising. Consumers are swinging back to printed books. Printed books are far more popular than eBooks in the US, the most mature eBook market in the world. Reports of the death of the traditional book have been greatly exaggerated. It is the first time in four years that the UK book trade has experienced an increase in physical book sales.
What’s really been happening is that the market share of established publishers has been declining, while sales of independently published eBooks have been growing. Book publishers are selling books to readers, but alternatively, selling publishing services to authors. This approach seems to have succeeded in keeping the print business reasonably healthy.
It’s getting easier and easier for successful digital-first authors to move into print and even bookstores without the help of a publisher. The statistics all show that eBook sales are flying through the roof, but forums show that people still want to feel the real book in their hands.The world of Digital Publishing Services is constantly growing and changing. The eBook industry being $8 billion industry is not much of a threat to the “ink and paper” business as they are being given credit for. Digital books are part of the technology revolution, and remain a significant competitor and are a long way off from taking over the publishing industry.
The future of the publishing industry is looking pretty solid whether you are on the side of print or its electronic counterpart. So it’s not so much that the market itself is growing or shrinking by large amounts, it’s more that some within that market are winning while others are losing. This is the epitome of the free market and the publishing industry is no different. While overall sales have remained the same whether in print or digital, technology is constantly evolving. It remains to be seen which format will take precedence in the marketplace.