Though e-books only represent a sliver of the overall German book market, which is the third-largest in the world, there are signs that publishers and readers are ready to embrace e-books as the future in the Central European country.
From Publishing Perspectives:
Germany’s book market is among the three largest in the world, but e-books still represent a very small percentage of overall sales. End-of-year sales in 2011, however, offered signs that the land of Goethe might be slowly making a shift toward a digital future. With overall book sales in Germany experiencing their first minor dip in years (1.4%), more and more publishers are investing in their e-book business, despite the current lack of overwhelming demand from readers.
A broad study released last month reveals that e-books are now seen as an inevitable part of the German book market – and a source of hope. The study — the second of its kind — was conducted by the Börsenverein and GfK Panel Services at the beginning of this year. “The e-book market looks promising in Germany,” said Steffen Meier, spokesman for the Arbeitskreis Elektronisches Publizieren, part of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. “[It] is currently only profitable for a small minority of market players, but publishers and book retailers still have to invest in the first place. However, the outlook for 2015 is good,” he added. In 2011, e-books represented just a 1% share of the overall book market (excluding professional books and textbooks), and only 1.2% of Germans over the age of 10 bought an e-book last year.
Read much more at Publishing Perspectives.