In the Rüdiger Wischenbart Global eBook Report 2104, there is some surprising data about where ebooks are popular and selling well.
It is no surprise though to read that the US is the biggest ebook market by far, but if you are focusing your ebook marketing towards UK readers, you may be wasting your time, and money, as the UK represents only 3% of the global ebook market.
The United States of America is still the by far largest book market in the world, yet followed in the ranks by China, and only then comes Germany, Japan, France and the United Kingdom. Together, the six largest book markets account for roughly 60 per cent in value of global book publishing.
If you are keen on data about ebooks, the Rüdiger Wischenbart Global eBook Report 2104 runs to about 160 pages, and covers in detail the ebook market in general, and then by a long list of individual countries.
While I wouldn’t recommend reading the whole document, there are some interesting snippets to take from a scan read.
“Digital will continue to grow for a while at least, and continue to exist, because it is becoming part of the world we inhabit at a level below our notice, no more remarkable than roads or supermarkets. Ebooks are here to stay because digital is, and quite shortly we’ll stop having this debate about paper vs ebooks because it will no longer make a lot of sense.” (The Guardian, 31 March 2014) — William Heinemann
What this detailed ebook survey does clearly indicate, however, is that if you are a self-published author and trying to market and promote your ebooks, then perhaps you should carefully consider where, and how you promote your ebooks and what book promotion tools you use.
Is Amazon Kindle US becoming the only ebook retailer you need?
My initial thought after reading this was to dramatically reduce my ebook marketing in the UK, as from the data in this report, ebook sales are minimal, and in fact, have totally stagnated in the UK.
One could also draw the conclusion that unless you happen to publish in Mandarin, English ebooks stand the best chance of success in the US, and on Amazon Kindle.
The two following charts from the report are telling. With increasing growth in ebook sales, on top of 67% market share, is it even worth considering targeting other markets, or using other retailers other than Amazon Kindle US?
While I have included only a few brief details from this very long and detailed report, I would highly recommend taking a look at some of the findings regarding ebooks. It may help you decide how to best market and promote your own ebooks.
But do please remember that the statistics in this report should be read with an open mind, as ebook sales data is not readily available from publishers or retailers, and especially Amazon, who never publish such data. So much of the data in this report should be regarded as best guess estimates.
Related reading: Authors Guild Blames Amazon For Author Earnings Crash