Getting concrete and accurate data on e-books and the digital marketplace in the book industry can be a precarious business. Bowker and Nielsen both provide regular data to the industry but their can often miss the full global picture if certain sales channels are omitted or the data is correlated solely from books published with an ISBN. For example, Amazon are notorious for not sharing book sales data unless you are an author or publisher client. Even then, it’s your data, no one else. Similarly, with so many self-publishing platforms out there facilitating authors to sell e-books directly and through official sales channels, there is still a significant amount of e-books published and sold without ISBNs that fall outside market reports.
And with so many sales territories and widely varying trends in different countries, it’s hard to find all the relevant data you want in the one place. Whatever report you get your hands on, it’s likely intended for industry professionals and released through membership subscription at a hefty price.
The Global eBook Report
program was initiated by O’Reilly Media in 2011 and it is published by Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting
, RWCC, which developed the format and authored the reports from the beginning. The Global eBook Report is published every six months and the latest updated edition was released earlier this month.
What exactly is the Global eBook Report and what’s in it?
From the report’s introduction:
“This report provides an overview of internationally emerging ebook markets, with a unique set of data from a wide array of the best available sources, a thorough analysis and a synopsis of key global developments and a broad set of detailed references to both global and local actors, forming a resource for anyone interested in the globalization of digital (book) content production and dissemination.
“The report offers an updated status on the US and UK markets as well as close ups on ebook markets as they take shape across Europe, Brazil, China, India, Russia, and in the Arab world.
“Thematic chapters focus on critical policy debates and on key driving forces, notably ebook bestsellers and pricing strategies across European markets, self-publishing, regulation, piracy, and the expanding activities of the leading global players such as Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Kobo. Fundamental statistics on the more mature ebook markets in the US and UK serve as benchmarks, to help evaluation data from all other market developments.
“The findings allow us to assess, on the one hand, how the main drivers of digital change in the publishing industry impact on international markets in similar ways, as reading platforms and distribution infrastructures become available, and as publishers in all markets start to make their title catalogs available in digital formats. On the other hand, a wide array of local factors—from market size through tax and pricing regimes to cultural choices—show that each market must be presented with its unique defining traits.”
The Global eBook Report is extensive and detailed (160 pages), and the good news is that it is free to download in PDF right here
Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant
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