Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do you read e-books?

The Paris book fair starts this Thursday, March 15 and once again the big question of e-publishing looms high on the horizon of European and American publishers.

For the moment,the main challenge for publishing comes from the sale of books on Internet thanks to Amazon. it is a major threat for the bookshops and a quandary for the publishers who badly need to find ways to deliver informations on their production. Until now, bookshops played the role of information centers and nobody knows how to replace them. In America, the vanishing bookshops leave publishers in desarray. In France, we are not there yet but 10% of the sales of print books are already processed through digital platforms.
The e-book is another matter. Its sales grow to about 15% in the US but stay at 1% in France. Threre is no doubt that the Kindle, cheap and efficient, will boost the sales thanks to Amazon. However, one can see the same process than for the press. Illustrated books like magazines will not move so easily to electronic publishing. Black and white text books have a more promising future and they can be sold at a much lower price than print books.

Then there is the field of applications which compete with non fiction illustrated books.They are offered to the Internauts for free or at a very low rate of 1 or 2 euros.However, it costs about 20 or 30000 euros to build one of them which means that publishers will not recover easily their investment.