Some impressions about the e-book market

    “In 2009, 200,000 book readers were bought in Russia”
    “14 million readers, according to analysts, will be sold worldwide in 2013”


    I try to monitor the development of the e-book market and the culture of their consumption. This is an area that is interesting both from the point of view of business and from the point of view of consumer psychology; it does not cease to please me, we can say before the eyes there is an evolution of content consumption and the evolution of consumers themselves in particular. On the network, and on the hub, there are a lot of articles by visionaries about the future of this sphere, there are a lot of analytics about its past, and I will try to de-duplicate the sparse facts from these articles and convey my own impression and vision of the phenomenon of electronic book circulation. Further, the narrative will be incoherent, confused, biased, reading the stream of consciousness do not expect to see the semantic structure, but the attentive reader will draw useful information from such a loosely structured source.

    About ten years ago, for the owl "ebuk" probably hit on the lips. Five years ago, the reader was considered a kitsch and a commodity for a geek. Three years ago, “electronic ink” became the coveted gadget. A year ago, the “reader” turned for many into a lifestyle. Tomorrow "readers" will be the de facto standard. Or they won’t. But it’s interesting to observe now

    Disclaimer: I am not me and the hut is not mine. It will be about technical, scientific or educational books in the original and only in places about fiction and translated versions. If you are not a startup, looking for the potential for improvement in everything, or do not share the keen interest in this market, then the future will seem boring to you. And the WTO was not afraid, welcome under the Cat

    Since 2004, sales growth has become explosive, this is promoted on the one hand by publishers' interest in direct distribution of content, and on the other hand, increased comfort for the modern user. Due to the high threshold for entering this business, the ebook-retail market was mainly divided by large players - Amazon-Google bipole and historically large bookstores (the same Barnes & Nobles, Acebooks,, the rest are not up to the strategy, they lead tactical battles between themselves and even with publishers. On the contrary, the market for content generation is conquered by small niche publishers, while huge monster publishers are gaining ground.

    - Previously, large ones ate small ones, now fast ones eat up slow ones.

    With the release of eInk (displays optimal for reading books), the market is developing at a tremendous pace, new devices (readers) are released from different manufacturers weekly. But Amazon sets the rhythm with its Kindle, which, thanks to broadband access anywhere in the world, allows you to receive books on the device with one click (the “hooked!” Factor and the spontaneity factor play a big role in the hands of Amazon), and prices are set by competition.

    It is funny in itself that not all major manufacturers of readers have a content platform. There is room for maneuver for new tech startups

    If the Russian e-book market is generally a thing in itself and has a number of aggressive and not very players, then the western market seems inert, despite the rapid growth, the principles of work do not change (it is connected with the licensing policy of publishers in the first place). There, e-books are sold at a price comparable to the original paper, often have DRM protection (inconvenient for the user). Who breaks stereotypes, that will break the jackpot

    Where is the profit?

    If you concentrate on the word “where” - at the moment the most interesting sales markets are America (language, population solvency), Europe (England first of all, and Western Europe), but the broad masses of other European countries (it hardens + technicals for students and specialists ) are also actively watching and starting to want. A huge underestimated market today remains a number of developing countries, the former British colonies - the “very average” wealth is compensated by the high population and the need for educational literature (because there are probably no libraries there than there are, and the requirements for education are vice versa). Such countries include, for example, Nigeria, South Africa, other African oil countries, India with a huge population and parts of South America. The main problem in these regions, and in the market as a whole,

    If you concentrate on the word profit, there are two directions - background processes and the actual sale of books and “accessories”.

    Demand is fueled by direct actions of the main culprits - Google Books, 10/30 Mio Books Project, Amazon (both the store and Kindle),
    Sony (the historical leader of eInk Readers), B&N (one of the largest US stores), Apple (iBooks). In the enterprise market,
    NetLibrary and company are driving interest . The universal trend towards digitization is being promoted at every corner, but the implementation is lame for all the same
    historical reasons - first of all, the publishers are afraid that the content will be copied, the complexity of delivery in a convenient form (read from the screen
    not everyone loves) etc. Google completed the project of digitizing 10 Mio books and took the 30Mio bar. Also, the largest libraries in the
    West and their libraries (for example, the Library of Congress) and Russian ( are transferring their funds , the French have allocated huge budgets for digitization.

    In the past Christmas electronic readers have become the best-selling product in the USA! Okay, Americans - we look at the central book exhibition in Frankfurt, a more conservative one - a bunch of digital-themed stands, seminars, etc. etc. Even according to old data from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (the legendary auditor and market analyst), the electronic version will enjoy the greatest success in the field of scientific and specialized literature. 3 out of 10 exhibitors surveyed already use electronic versions instead of paper
    The average global growth in the e-book market in recent years is approximately 70% per year !!! .. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that the number of buyers of electronic versions of books in early 2009 increased from 10% to 40%. In other words, when the buyer has the opportunity to choose whether to buy him a paper book or electronic, in 35% of cases he chooses the electronic edition. And the share of such buyers is growing.

    If you leave the bread and circuses to the discretion of other competent people, people still want the infrastructure for conveniently obtaining digital fiction, readers have entered the affordable segment for the masses, 3/4 smartphones can be used for reading with sufficient comfort. Every self-respecting store takes care of its crutch here.

    Who will we be friends against?
    Paper must die! The advantage over the paper version should be the price, but the Americans cling to the sinking ship with enviable tenacity and everything leads to a crisis similar to mp3. The only thing that saves them is free, non-copyrighted books, i.e. everything that is older than 70 years, which means all the classics.

    The second largest competitor to beeches and the main factor in the growth of the reader market are pirated content sources. Here, the market is saved only by the holy laziness of users and the curvature of the current technology of propagation:
    - it is difficult to download for the average user (all sorts of RapidShare with frustrating links are for advanced ones)
    - 90% of the websites that are not designed for books - there are no tools for choosing a book, there is no sensible search, most importantly no assortment
    - when downloading a book, the user receives only the book, not a tool and not content to solve his problem
    - no support, money providers do not take and do not help users, work with digital copies for ordinary users is not yet intuitively clear
    Their advantage is free, their destiny is experienced Internet users. Of course, there is an intersection with a typical book lover client, but it has not yet reached a critical mass, because there are practically no professional book sites in the bourget, there are only popular file cleaners a la gigapedia, avaxhome, flaxz
    They will be the main competition in the market of developing countries, but not in Europe and the States

    In this sense, interesting is the statistics of Dan Brown's books, which went online on the day of sales, but did not bring down the market, because consumers are not so much law-abiding as lazy, curious and prone to convenience: it’s easier for them to buy an e-book than to rummage around on the Web pirated copy, on which the flimsy balance of forces rests.

    More numbers, beautiful and different.
    • SmartMarketing Group predicts an increase in the e-book market in Russia in 2010 by 2.3–2.5 times
    • Amazon threatens major publishers to remove their books from the shelves if they do not allow them to be sold electronically
    • 47% of books purchased last year (England, market valued at ~ USD) cost less than 5 pounds, people ask for cheap books
    • Last Christmas in the United States bought more e-books than paper ones. The multi-billion-dollar paper book market is nervously smoking
    • Three major players on the market introduce gadgets with the ability to download books directly to them, one creates a distribution system. All prices are sky-high
    • Gartner predicts a boom in demand for readers at the end of 2010, the main criterion is the price of devices and most importantly books
    • China, India, Brazil and the EU will stimulate market growth, but America will remain its leader in 2010
    • The need for e-books will grow in Brazil and EU countries.
    • According to Forrester among 14,536 online shoppers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland and Sweden, 4% of respondents purchased e-books in the last month and 19% expressed their willingness to buy them in the near future

    What I don’t want would be sales through PayPerUse / DRM, sales through opsos, sales by thematic subscription, lowcost segment, monetization through in-line advertising, platforms for public domain services, platforms for creating your own bookstores.

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