Global Trends in Publishing

In advance of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the organisers commissioned a report by Rüdiger Wischenbart entitled Global Trends in Publishing in 2014, which takes a keen look at the present relationship between print and electronic and how it is progressing.

Wischenbart’s research indicates that e-books are a critical factor only in a small number of markets, led by the USA and the UK, with Germany developing more recently, but he points out that these are key markets. However, it is difficult to carry out a like-for-like comparison between countries, as there is no accepted definition of what the term ‘e-book’ includes.  Wischenbart has based his calculations on the share of revenues of the total book market (trade and education), the share of revenues of the trade market alone and the share of revenues of key segments.  Based on these figures, in 2013 e-books accounted for 21% of all trade titles, the total value of which declined for the first time ever, falling by $15m to $1.471 bn.  E-books were the third most important format by revenue, after hardbacks and paperbacks.

In the UK, e-books represented 15% of publishers’ total e + p sales.  In Germany, they comprised 3.9% of all trade sales, up from 2.4% in 2012.  E-books grew in volume by 63% (compared with 200% in 2012).  Other EU countries are now expected to grow e-book sales quickly.  To read the report in full please click here.