According to Statista, one billion people have read electronic books since the beginning of this year, spending slightly over 16 billion dollars on them. Asia-Pacific has emerged as the fastest growing e-books market but North America remains the biggest one. We are in the second quarter but over 6 billion dollars has already been spent on e-books in the United States alone this year.
The increased popularity of e-books is attributed to the widespread use of portable devices and the explosion of the internet. Users of tablets and e-readers are more likely to read digitalized books.
I love reading books but it took me a while to embrace digital versions. Years ago, I used to spend a lot of time in the library reading physical books. When I became a nomad, digital books became far more convenient. The realization that I can have access to millions of books while camping in Nyamagabe made me a proponent of e-books. After all, the difference between an e-book and a paperback is a paper. Apart from convenience, e-books are cheaper and environmentally friendly.
There are different platforms selling e-books but it’s the big guns like Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iBooks that dominate the market. We can not tell definitively how many e-books are in the market today. Amazon, the world’s biggest marketplace doesn’t show the number of books available but advanced search indicates that a new e-book is listed on Kindle every after five minutes.
The market is already saturated but savvy publishers of great content are making good money. The rest have to step up their game or find something else to do. The door to the arena of self-publishing is open for everyone but only the strong will survive.
Despite the increased popularity of e-books, traditional books still outsell the former. However, the current global pandemic has created a favorable condition for the growth of e-books’ market share. Like all other trends accelerated by circumstances caused by COVID- 19, e-books are here to stay. However, competition is stiff. Audio books are also in the mix and new ways of delivering content are always in the pipeline.
Kindle unlimited subscribers have access to more than a million e-books, audio books and digital magazines at a reasonable monthly fee of $ 9.99, charged after a 30-day free trial. Kindle unlimited has books from publishing powerhouses like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, including those from some of the best selling authors. However, titles from Penguin Random House, Hachette and MacMillan are still not available.
This feature allows users to borrow up to ten books at a time. Recommendations are given based on the subscriber’s purchasing or borrowing history.