Press room

Benchmark Digital Publishing Report Released

Ninety percent of surveyed publishers are currently producing ebooks

Around a fifth of publishers have produced enhanced ebooks & apps

Toronto, ON–March 17, 2014–Canadian publishers’ digital publishing programs are well underway, according to a report released today by BookNet Canada. The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2013 lays out the results of a survey conducted by BookNet Canada in fall 2013. Eighty-four respondents, representing small, mid-sized, and large publishers and distributors, reported on various aspects of their digital publishing programs, including staffing, ebook production & conversion, digital originals, enhanced ebooks & apps, ebook bundling, and ebook sales & distribution.

Close to 90% of those surveyed are producing ebooks, with the remaining 10% either in the process of starting to produce ebooks, or planning to produce them in the future. When asked for the main reasons they chose to publish ebooks, the most popular response was to increase sales, followed closely by to improve accessibility and to meet customer demand. Only 15% cited “as a mechanism to lower costs” as a reason to produce ebooks. Almost half of all respondents have more than 50% of their active print titles available as ebooks, and just under one-fifth (19%) report that their full active print list is also available digitally. In addition, 19% of publishers have produced enhanced ebooks (usually with audio and/or video) and 22% have developed at least one app.

The main sales channel was ebook retailers (91%), followed by wholesale (45%) and direct (42%). Ebook retailers also generated the most revenue for 71% of respondents, while only 12% reported receiving the most revenue through their direct sales channel. Ebook sales are greater than 10% of annual revenue for one in three publishers. As for libraries, the majority of publishers surveyed (61%) sell ebooks to libraries. The most popular library distributors for trade publishers were OverDrive, Ingram, and Baker & Taylor, whereas the most popular for scholarly/professional publishers were Ingram and ebrary. 

BookNet Canada’s Director of Customer Relations, Pamela Millar, says, “Now that we have a benchmark, we plan to conduct this survey annually. It will be interesting to see how the current trends bear out for small, mid-sized, and large publishers in the coming years.”

Please click here to download a free copy of The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2013. You can also view an infographic based on the report here.