BookNet Canada’s Benchmark Study on Canadian Digital Publishing

Highlights from a new study by BookNet Canada on the Canadian digital publishing market:

— 90% of Canadian publishers are producing ebooks
— The remaining 10% plan to produce ebooks in the future or are in the process of doing so
— 19% of Canadian publishers have their full lists available as ebooks
— About a fifth of Canadian publishers have developed enhanced ebooks and about a fifth have produced at least one app

Related: DBW U course on how to produce an ebook app.

— While the main sales channel for publishers in Canada is established ebook retailers, 12% reported getting the most revenue from direct sales channels
— 61% of Canadian publishers sell ebooks to libraries

The full study.

[Press Release]

Ninety percent of surveyed publishers are currently producing ebooks
Around a fifth of publishers have produced enhanced ebooks & apps

Canadian publishers’ digital publishing programs are well underway, according to a study released today by BookNet Canada. The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2013 lays out the results of a survey conducted by BookNet Canada in fall 2013. Eighty-four respondents, representing small, mid-sized, and large publishers and distributors, reported on aspects of their digital publishing program including staffing, ebook production & conversion, digital originals, enhanced ebooks & apps, ebook bundling, and ebook sales & distribution.

Close to 90% of those surveyed are producing ebooks, with the remaining 10% either in the process of starting to produce ebooks, or planning to produce them in the future. When asked for the main reasons they chose to publish ebooks, the most popular response was to increase sales, followed closely by to improve accessibility and to meet customer demand. Only 15% cited “as a mechanism to lower costs” as a reason to produce ebooks. Almost half of all respondents have more than 50% of their active print titles available as ebooks, and just under one-fifth (19%) report that their full active list is also available digitally. In addition, 19% of publishers have produced enhanced ebooks (usually with videos and/or audio) and 22% have developed at least one app.

The main sales channel was ebook retailers (91%), followed by wholesale (45%) and direct (42%). Ebook retailers also generated the most revenue for 71% of respondents, while only 12% reported receiving the most revenue through their direct sales channel. Ebooks are greater than 10% of annual revenue for one in three publishers. As for libraries, the majority of publishers surveyed (61%) sell ebooks to libraries. The most popular library distributors for trade publishers were OverDrive, Ingram, and Baker & Taylor, whereas the most popular for scholarly/ professional publishers were Ingram and ebrary.

BookNet Canada’s Director of Customer Relations, Pamela Millar, says, “Now that we have a benchmark, we plan to conduct this survey annually. It will be interesting to see how the current trends bear out for small, mid-sized, and large publishers in the coming years.”

Please click here to download a free copy of The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2013. You can also view an infographic based on the report here.
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BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards and education to serve the Canadian book industry.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du Fonds du livre du Canada (FLC) pour ce projet.

2 thoughts on “BookNet Canada’s Benchmark Study on Canadian Digital Publishing

  1. Mick Rogers

    It is a bit of a shame to see that only 20% of publishers have developed enhanced e-books. Technology should enable publishers to do more than simply publish works in a different format. There is the ability to shift the whole experience. Look at to understand how the WHY Code provides publishers with an opportunity to do this through the creation of relationships between published content.



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