Best of BTB: Global E-Book Report Update

Ruediger WischenbartNational e-book markets are like snowflakes.  No two are alike.  Emerging markets particularly engage in approaches of their own.  In India, domestic platforms lead the way; while in Brazil, Apple shows a surprising lead in eBook distribution over the usual suspect.

First published in 2011, the Global eBook Report follows international market evolution in e-books, as well as the controversies and debates that inevitably surround the move away from print and toward digital. From the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair, Global eBook Report author Rüdiger Wischenbart joins CCC’s Chris Kenneally to share details on the fall 2014 update.

Of special note is the shifting patterns in e-book pricing, an unsettling development for readers.

“For a number of years, we have surveyed quite systematically e-book pricing strategies across a half dozen European markets.  The funny thing is in each market, in each country, there’s a very clear consensus how much a hardcover edition costs, how much trade paperback costs.  And at the same time, there has no consensus been reached with regard to e-books,” notes Wischenbart, a journalist, publishing consultant, and lecturer at the University of Vienna.

“In Germany, for instance, you would pay normally close to €20 – a little bit more than $20 – for a hardcover, €10 for a trade paperback.  But a new title in digital format can cost you anywhere between a few euros and €17, even €18.  That contradicts all the pricing habits of readers, and it’s confusing them.

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