While the print market remains the primary target for most writers, it is becoming increasingly important not to ignore digital book sales.

Bloomsbury, which publishes a really nice edition of the Harry Potter series, among other titles, has reported a massive increase in its ebook sales. For 2009 it brought in £79,000 on electronic books, but in 2010 that figure skyrocketed to £1.5 million, according to the BBC.

While it’s not clear what led to such a huge increase in ebook sales, it’s likely that Bloomsbury saw the potential in the market and decided to push out more of its titles in digital format. If we combine a large selection of ebook titles with the booming tablet and e-reader market it’s not surprising that ebooks are doing really well.

“Demand for digital delivery, including e-books, is increasing significantly,” said Nigel Newton, chief executive of Bloomsbury. “It will change the publishing business model, creating one worldwide market. The publishing world is handling its own revolution.”

This is an important point for both publishers and writers, as there’s no denying that the publishing industry is seeing a massive change. The traditional means of publishing and buying books is being constantly questioned, both by the digital medium and the growing print on demand market, and writers will need to factor this into their plans for getting their work into the hands of readers.

Indeed, the first thing one reader of my work asked when he heard of my upcoming novel was: “Will there be an ebook?” Personally I prefer hard copies, but there are millions out there who read books on their computers or handheld devices. We would be fools to ignore that market.

Categories: Publishing


Jason · June 3, 2011 at 1:12 am

Also, instant gratification — the instantaneous purchase of a book from anywhere — can be a wonderful thing.

    Dean · June 3, 2011 at 1:22 am

    Very true. I used to order from Amazon.com and waited for up to 6 weeks for the books to be delivered. I now order from the .co.uk variant, which delivers within a week or so, but delivery in seconds trumps that every time.

    I guess a writer has to also factor in the shipping costs of their book just as much as the cover price itself. If the book costs $15 and another $10 for shipping, compared to maybe $4 for the ebook, it’s easy to see why ebooks are becoming popular.


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