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Canadian audio production on the rise

Toronto, ON – June 11, 2018 – New study on digital publishing trends looks at pricing, accessibility, ebook retailers, and more

More than half, or 61%, of Canadian publishers are now producing digital audiobooks, which is up from 37% in 2016, according to a new report from BookNet Canada. Increasing production may be related to the confidence felt by firms, with 73% believing audiobook sales will increase in the coming year.

Publishers across Canada were surveyed in early 2018 for the fifth annual The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2017 report, which tracks trends in the country's digital publishing landscape. Respondents ranged from large multinationals and Canadian-owned firms to smaller, niche publishers, all of whom answered questions about ebook sales, use of accessibility features, digital revenue, and more.

Among the other highlights of the report was a drop in the percentage of ebooks available in the market that went unsold. Though methodology changed slightly between 2016 and 2017, the survey found that 30% of ebooks had no sales in 2017, versus 46% in 2016. Meanwhile, 69% of publishers reported that their year-over-year digital sales were either growing slowly or staying flat. According to BookNet's quarterly consumer surveying, unit sales of ebooks have fluctuated over the past three years, accounting for 19% of book purchases in 2015, 16.9% in 2016, and 18.6% in 2017.

New questions were asked in the 2017 survey that focused on the industry's projections for the future of publishing. When asked who they believed had benefited the most from the digital transformation of the last five years, the top three responses were Amazon (72%), self-published authors (63%), and readers (52%). As in previous years, Kobo is the ebook retailer most used by Canadian publishers, with Amazon coming in a close second.

More insights, including use of pricing models and the impact of digital enhancements on ebook sales, can be found in the full report available for free at

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BookNet Canada is a non-profit organization that develops technology, standards, and education to serve the Canadian book industry. Founded in 2002 to address systemic challenges in the industry, BookNet Canada supports publishing companies, booksellers, wholesalers, distributors, sales agents, and libraries across the country.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) for this project. / Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier du gouvernement du Canada par l’entremise du Fonds du livre du Canada (FLC) pour ce projet.

Media Contact:
Zalina Alvi
Marketing & Communications Manager
BookNet Canada 
(416) 362-5057 x 2250