The Growth of the eBook Market

(UK – January 2015) Granted, it initially took many people a while to warm to the idea of eBooks – many simply preferred physical, tangible books.

However, it was recently revealed that there has been a 15% average growth in eBook sales across the main publishers in the past year. Thus, the consumer eBook market is predicted to be worth £350m.

There are a number of reasons as to why eBook sales are growing and the market is gaining momentum over physical books. So, let’s take a look.


In 2013, there was a considerable opening of new markets available in eBook with publishers selling to a third of more countries. Since then, this has continued to steadily rise around through wider and new eBook channels.

While predominantly the UK and US based product, since 2013, new countries started to become interested in eBooks with publishers selling more and more to South America, Japan, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Belgium.


As Apple, Amazon, and Kobo have expanded to new countries and opened up specialized stores in each of them, European publishers are in prime position to be able to publish throughout the different countries due to their open rights policy.

In addition, publishers have begun to list as many currencies as possible, providing specific pricing in varied currencies rather than the typical dollar, pound, and euro. This helps the eBook and publishers perform significantly better in both new and existing territories. This is an increase of managing two or three currencies to now managing up to 20 – it’s a step in the right direction.


Historically, publishers have simply converted the price of a book from dollar, pound or euro, directly to another currency. However, it’s important to realize that in different countries – cities even – a direct translation of price may not be the best thing.

It’s important to conduct research when it comes to that as many countries may have a lower cost of living than the UK or US. In turn, if pricing isn’t well thought out, it’s possible to lose customers in certain territories.


EBook self-publishing means that any writer in the world has easy access to the tools and knowledge of professional publishing. Writers can now make their books instantly accessible and affordable to billions of readers around the globe.

However, we are still in the early days of self-publishing, so it’s important to try to understand how effective it will be down the line. Recent years of exponential eBook growth means that self-published work is taking a backseat due to a disruptive business model and greater competition.


While the eBook market continues to grow, it’ll be interesting to see how this continues over the next few years. Essentially, it’s a case of having to ‘watch this space’.


Nielsen’s Steve Bohme presented the latest findings from the 2014 UK Books & Consumer Survey.

The survey provides interesting and useful insights indicating that eBooks are gaining ground. It is indicative the fact that the UK “digital” book market increased by almost 100% in 2014.

The main results of the Nielsen survey are as follows:

Nielsen’s UK Books & Consumers survey reveals the extent to which UK book buyers are increasingly ‘digital’, with 56% owning tablets by the end of 2014 (compared to 41% in Q4 2013), 25% owning e-readers and 84% (up from 76%) owning either tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

Overall, e-books accounted for 30% of book units purchased in 2014, and while the e-book share continued to be higher in Adult Fiction than other sectors – at approaching half of all volume purchases – growth in e-books was faster in the Non-Fiction and Children’s categories in 2014.

Image credits: Image: Voyagerix | Dreamstime.com

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