Infographic: The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2017

You may recall a series of messages on social media and in your email inbox a few months back asking Canadian publishers to tell us about their digital publishing programs for the 2017 edition of The State of Digital Publishing in Canada. Well, we asked and you delivered! We received responses from 54 publishers of all sizes and types, and we've compiled their responses into one comprehensive and 100% free report.

The current state of digital publishing in Canada

This year's study is the fifth annual edition of The State of Digital Publishing in Canada. For half a decade, we have been looking at the size, scope, and production processes of the digital publishing market in Canada, and making some pretty exciting infographics (if I do say so myself), and this year is no different! Here are just a few of the highlights from this year's report:

Ebook vs. print sales in Canada

When it comes to unit sales of books in Canada, according to our quarterly consumer surveying, 18.6% of purchases in 2017 were ebooks. This is a slight increase from 2016, when ebook sales made up 16.9% of purchases. At the same time, the number of publishers producing ebooks also increased: 94% of publishers reported that they are currently producing ebooks, up 3% from 2016 (91%).

The number of ebooks with sales has also grown since 2016, although we changed our methodology slightly in the 2017 survey. In previous years, we asked publishers to report the number of ebooks with sales in the Canadian market over the last 12 months. This year, however, we asked them for an overall percentage. Keeping this in mind, we found that 30% of ebooks had no sales in Canada in 2017, while 46% had no sales in 2016. 

On top of this, 65% of publishers reported that year-over-year sales are growing (either slowly or rapidly), citing marketing efforts and/or a maturing market as the possible reasons.

Digital audiobooks in Canada

Audiobooks are still thriving, with production in Canada seeing continuous growth over the past three years. In 2015, only 16% of firms were producing digital audiobooks, while in 2017, that number has shot up to 61%. The number of active audiobooks between the firms surveyed spans up to 9,215 ISBNs, with small to mid-size publishers reporting an average of nine ISBNs. This segment of the market shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

All of these insights and lots more can be found in our free report, The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2017. Read or download your own copy today!


Infographic summary

  • 61% of publishers are producing digital audiobooks
    • 43% are producing them in-house
    • 40% are using third-party audiobook producers
    • 10% are using retailers for production
    • 3% are using other methods
    • 3% are unsure
  • 54% are currently publishing, have plans to, or are currently investigating ways to produce enhanced ebooks
    • 100% of enhanced ebooks have audio
    • 55% of enhanced ebooks have video
    • 55% of enhanced ebooks have read-along
    • 18% of enhanced ebooks have interactive images
    • 18% of enhanced ebooks have scripted animation
    • 18% of enhanced ebooks have slideshows
  • The most used ebook retailers by Canadian firms are:
    • Kobo (used by 98% of publishers)
    • Amazon (used by 94% of publishers)
    • Apple (used by 88% of publishers)
    • Barnes and Noble (used by 67% of publishers)
    • Google Books (used by 54% of publishers)
  • Read the full report at booknetcanada.ca/state-of-digital-publishing