Sunday, December 12, 2010

Survey on e-Books

Wednesday's Publishers Weekly had an article here about a survey of 600 publishers conducted by Aptara, a company that specializes in providing technical expertise to publishers.

The survey revealed that 74% of trade publishers now offer e-books while 64% of all publishers are offering e-books. That 64% is up from 11% earlier in this year.

The largest gains in number of houses offering e-books were in the trade and STM (scientific, technical and medical) sectors.

When the 36% of all publishers who are not releasing e-books was asked "Why not?," 71% of them gave no reason for sitting out.

To me, the scary part of the article was this:
The profitability of e-books has been a point of contention between publishers and authors, and according to the survey 66% of trade houses have no clear picture if the return-on-investment from e-books is better or worse than for print books; 15% said the ROI was better, but 13% said it was worse.
You can go to the Aptara site here to read additional details about the survey. Aptara says:
The main eBook production challenge facing publishers is still eReader/content compatibility issues. Even with the near universal EPUB eBook format standard, today’s fragmented eReader market makes quality eBook production a moving target, with expert, manual manipulation required to retain consistent formatting across device-types.

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