Embracing digitisation: a case study

Tim Davies, managing director of The History Press, offered a case study of the digital revolution that had taken place within his company.  There had been many issues to address once the decision to ‘go digital’ had been taken, but the venture was already beginning to pay off.  Ebooks now represent approximately 8% of all The History Press’s UK sales. 1,269 titles have been digitised and 1,500 will be available by the end of the year.

The top 50 titles deliver 50% of all sales.  Altogether, the ebooks have sold in 120 countries: 55% in the UK, 28% in the USA, 17% in the rest of the world.  There has been one sale each in Micronesia and Laos.  Digitisation has therefore increased the global reach of The History Press considerably.  80% of the sales have been for the Amazon Kindle; sales for the Nook and Kobo have totalled 5% each and the other 15% is through sales on other platforms.

Amazon’s promotions and/or discounts have been the main drivers. Social media are especially important for promoting topical and range titles; and discoverability (whether via social media or on the main ebook platforms) is key to successful sales.