The concept of electronic books or electronic books has been around for a while, the first gadgets were designed and manufactured since the late 1930s. In 1971, Michael S. Hart created the first electronic document by writing the United States Declaration of Independence. on your computer in text format so that the document can be viewed on other devices. E-book reading devices were intended to store technical or reference documents that would have become too heavy if printed as paper books for the intended users. During this time, most of the projects related to e-books were carried out at the behest of government agencies. Document sharing was made easier with Internet services that were introduced in the late 1980s and e-book readers became more reader-friendly. In 1992, Sony introduced the ‘Data Discman’ that could read books stored on CDs. The cost of this device was over US $ 500, which was too high to be viable and it was discontinued within a couple of years.
E-book reading devices like Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, etc. It soon became popular as an alternative to paper books. The reasons for this change in habit are several, e-books are cheaper, extremely portable, customizable in terms of font and color, each device can store hundreds of titles / books, space saving, users can also index information, get details on other books by your favorite authors or download sample chapters. These devices are literally putting the library or bookstore in our hands, and all this without leaving our chair. From a long-term perspective, one can also discuss the environmental benefits of adopting e-books, as no paper or transportation is required for e-book publishing.
How have publishers dealt with this avalanche of technology?
Publishers have been using digital technologies for writing, proofreading, graphic design, and printing for quite some time. However, what has really changed in the last decade is the impact of these technologies on the way we communicate, promote, market, and especially the way we read digital content. The ubiquity of smartphones and the Internet means that we have easy access to our preferred choice of digital content.
In terms of cost comparison between e-books and print books, e-books are cheaper to publish. While we may consider author fees, marketing costs, and publisher staff salaries for both types of published material to be the same, e-books have negligible costs associated with retail and wholesale margins, print / reprint of copies, paper, storage and maintenance. and logistics.
A more recent development has been the emergence of desktop publishing, in which authors, instead of hoping to be accepted by the big publishers, publish their material themselves through self-help portals.
With the digital age, publishers have had to adopt stricter policies against intellectual property piracy caused by the indiscriminate sharing of digital content online. This has led publishers to organize author and book promotion workshops, conferences and webinars. The adoption of technology that studies data related to current and potential customers, trends and preferences of the target audience is also playing a key role in the survival of publishers.
Total global publishing revenue amounted to $ 122 billion in 2018 and was expected to reach $ 129 billion in 2023. Of this, the share of e-books is approximately $ 16 billion, indicating that the e-books still have a long way to go.