Feeds

Books biz talks up Kindle effect

Paper down slightly, but digital is still tiny

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Digital book sales in the UK rose 38 per cent last year, but they still represent a drop in the ocean. The year saw £120m in reported digital sales out of total sales of £3.1bn reported to the Publishers Association: accounting for just under 4 per cent.

The book market here is actually a larger than that – the Association notes that sales figures it receives are probably around 70 per cent of digital book sales. Extrapolating from this and other surveys, the Association reckons the true size of the digital slice of the market is nearer to £180m, out of a cake worth £3.8bn. Physical book sales fell 3 per cent, although the average retail price rose to £4.56 from £3.93, a trend that has moved up in recent years. The £3.8bn figure doesn't capture UK spending; around 40 per cent of UK book sales are exports, reflecting the demand for English language material globally.

Of the digital books business, academic and professional titles take the lion's share: £84m, of which £58m were social sciences and humanities books, and £19m scientific/technical/medical. Consumer ebook sales rose year-on-year from £4m to £16m in 2010. £6m of these sales were fiction, £1m non-fiction. Schools represent the biggest area for growth, worth just £7m in 2010.

The term "digital books" is understood to include include CD-ROMs, subscriptions to digital services, audiobooks, and whole or part downloads of electronic books.

The figures are representative but not the complete picture, hence the emphasis on the sales as being "reported". But they do give a snapshot of a market worth just under £4bn. By comparison, recorded music sales in the UK have fallen below £1bn, despite digital growth, and Google's income from the UK advertising market will be around £2.4bn this year. Tax-free, naturally...

And despite some lurid tabloid headlines highlighting electronic book piracy, many people are prepared to pay for legitimate content, particularly if retail prices fall as a result of the ongoing Office of Fair trading enquiry into pricing.

Popular titles with ebook freetards include How to Get Anyone to Say YES – The Science of Influence, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex and Fix It – How To Do All Those Little Repair Jobs Around The House. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?