BookNet Canada released its third annual "State of Digital Publishing in Canada" report earlier this week, charting the course of e-book trends in the country. One of the findings showed that e-books are becoming more important to publishers' total revenue.
When asked what percentage of their overall revenue came from e-book sales, 14% of publishers said the format accounted for more than 30% of revenue, up from 8% who said that in 2013 and 2014. And 67% of publishers said e-books accounted for 1%-10% of overall revenue for 2015; last year, 69% of publishers said e-books accounted for 1%-10% of overall revenue.
In some other findings, the report found that 67% of Canadian publishers released their e-books simultaneously with their print books last year, up from 65% in 2014.
On the other hand, the percentage of publishers that have a dedicated digital staff dropped in the past two years (39%). When the study was first conducted, 44% of publishers said they had staff members dedicated solely to digital efforts. “This may be due to the fact that, in many publishing houses, digital and print processes are being aligned, which requires less focus on a dedicated digital staff,” the report said.
According to the report, the percentage of Canadian e-books with any sales dropped from 88% in 2014 to 73% last year. The report suggested that this downturn could be due to the fact that many publishers are now digitizing their backlists, which likely accounts for more obscure titles entering that market that do not see any e-book sales.
Elaborating on the issue, the report said: “Factors that may be contributing to the lack of sales for some titles include discoverability issues—which could result from missing metadata in publisher ONIX feeds such as cover images, descriptions, and reviews—and lack of availability in the desired consumer format (EPUB vs. PDF vs. Kindle formats).”