The dust has settled on the Christmas sales of books, e-readers and tablets and some interesting figures have emerged.
In the UK, over £75m was spent on printed books in the week leading up to Christmas. This was an increase of 19.3% on the previous week and up 1% on the same week in 2011. The figures represent a three-year high for hard copy book sales in the UK.
In the US, the latest Pew Internet figures show another increase in the numbers of people reading digital books – an increase from 16% of the US adult population a year ago to 23% by the end of 2012. 33% of Americans now own a tablet or e-reader device.
Borrowing of e-books from libraries in the US is also continuing to increase as is the public’s awareness of e-book offerings available in public libraries.
“It’s becoming harder to define what ‘publishing’ really is”
Meanwhile three specialist industry sites (The Bookseller, AuthorMedia and Digital Book World) have interviewed a number of thought leaders (including CILIP President Phil Bradley) and published their predictions for the publishing industries in 2013. These include:
• Migration from print to digital will continue to slow
• More mergers and consolidation between publishers and agencies
• Continued growth in self-publishing and the companies that support it
• A growth of ‘author collectives’
• New partnerships for independent booksellers
• Major authors to keep their digital rights
• E-book sales will ‘level off’ in 2013 and prices may start to decrease
• Digital publishing means increased global audiences for digital works
• New, dynamic marketing models for publishers