An electronic book or e-book is a book in digital form and consist of both text and images. These books are readable on the electronic devices such as computer, mobile phone and tablets. Thus, the rising adoption of these smart devices is the major factor driving the global demand for e-books. Additionally, the environment protection campaigns from governments across the globe especially for saving trees is reducing the use of paper, which further increases the demand for e-books.
Moreover, the emerging trend of collecting information online for research or educational purpose is adding to the growth of e-books market. The fragility of books to wear and tear and need of adequate care, combined with high cost is further negating the demand for books. The market finds tremendous growth potential in countries where customers can read in both English as well as their mother tongue. This directly has an impact on volume sales of e-books in a particular geography. However, it is important to consider regulatory framework for copyrights, which are important in e-books context. Thus, the potential threat of piracy is the major challenge for the growth of e-book market.
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The recent expansion of distribution platforms and channels, especially the e-retail, has brought publishing of e-books to an entirely new dimension. Globalization and digitization (internet) have made activities such as book launch an entirely global event, targeted towards global readers. As a result, the publishing groups now have widespread geographic reach. The British publishing houses, in particular lead the market in terms of geographic presence in all the commonwealth countries. The major publishers of the U.S. such as Bertelsmann, Hachette and Swedish Bonnier too have strong presence in the publishing market of North America and Europe.
According to International Publishers Association, in 2013, the book publishing market was dominated by countries such as the U.S., China, Germany, Japan, France and United Kingdom, accounting for 60% market revenue share. However, the market for printed books is declining with the digitization of books and its easy availability and exchange over the internet. This trend is supporting the growth of e-book market in these geographies. Moreover, in countries such as the U.S and the U.K, the readers are adopting e-books at faster rates as compared to the printed books.
The major players in the e-books value chain includes publishers, aggregators, distributors, service providers, educational organizations, professional organizations and online reading platform providers. There are several e-book publishers in market such as Dotbooks, Bloombury India, Completely Novels, Diamond Comics, Open Road Integrated Media, Publish Green, Morgan and Claypool Publishers, Lulu, Penguin Random House, Hachette, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster and several others. The aggregators and distributors are basically companies that offer business to business (B2B) services. The aim of such companies is to connect the content and distribution services.
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There are several aggregators and distributors in the global e-book market such as ACK Media, Andrews UK Limited, Bookbaby, Smashwords, Pigeon Labs, Tertiary Publishing, Ciando, Dawson France, eBook Architects, Green Apple Data Centre, and Planet Media. In addition, there are many educational and professional organizations that play important role in offering professional education by publishing e-books. Some of the major educational organizations include Scholaristic India, Hurix, Learnetic, Piron Corporation, and Oneclick among others.