Third of E-Book Publishers Now Seeing Double-Digit Digital Revenue

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About a third of publishing companies that publish e-books are seeing double-digit percentages of their revenue come from digital publishing operations, according to a new survey.

The proportion of publishers that now get at least 10% of their revenue from digital publishing is double what it was last year. While many of the larger publishers long ago passed the double-digit threshold, many small and mid-size publishers have lagged when it comes to generating a significant portion of their revenues digitally.

The survey, conducted by Aptara and Publishers Weekly, was fielded in April and had nearly 900 respondents from among small, medium and large publishing houses. This is the fourth year of the survey. Some of the most interesting findings:

– The most popular reading device among publishers is Apple’s iPad, with 53% say that’s what they use. The second most popular is Amazon’s Kindle, with 30% using it. (Respondents were asked to select all the devices they use; many respondents chose more than one device.)

– When asked what were the greatest challenges they faced when bringing e-books to market, device and format issues (61%), distribution issues (35%), and quality of converted content (29%) all came out ahead of digital rights management (22%)

– Nearly a quarter of publishers believe enhancements added to e-books resulted in no increase in sales. Nearly half believe that enhancements added to e-books resulted in either no increase in sales or just a marginal increase. Most of the remaining publishers were “unsure.” About a third of all the publishers in the survey produce enhanced e-books currently.

– Despite the fact that no e-reader has announced that it can support all of EPUB-3 yet, 60% of publishers say they intend to use it.

– 43% of publishers do not make their e-books available in libraries.

For more insights, get the full report here.

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