The World is Ready for eBooks

Bowker’s recent Market Research Global eBook Monitor Study looked at consumer attitudes about ebooks among the online population of ten countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The study found that more than 20% of these global readers had bought an ebook in the past six months. Even most of those who had not purchased an ebook were aware that they exist—80% of the survey respondents.

I sometimes get email requests from people in Asian and African countries who request Christian literature. They ask that I mail them books to read since they are poor and cannot afford Christian books to help them with their spiritual growth.

While I am aware that many of these requests are probably scams, in the event that some are truly seeking help with their spiritual lives, I do respond to these emails. With the advent of ebooks, I am able to write these individuals back and let them know that since they have access to the Internet, they have access to a large body of Christian literature in the form of ebooks. I also provide them with some links to free Christian ebooks.

Not only have ebooks allowed poor individuals more access to Christian material for their spiritual growth, they have opened up a vast new arena of sales for publishers. Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publishing services at Bowker, says, “The world is ready for digital books and it’s a far bigger marketplace than we thought.”

According to Bowker’s Global eBook Study, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States led the world in ebook adoption rates, but Brazil and India may represent the best opportunities for publishers to sell ebooks in the future. More than 50% of respondents in India and Brazil plan to buy an ebook in the next six months as compared to about one-third of respondents in the United Kingdom and the United States who stated they plan to purchase an ebook in the next six months.

If you are looking to broaden your sales reach with ebooks, focus on the countries that lead the world in ebook adoption rates. These countries are by-and-large English-speaking, making sales into these countries via ebooks readily available for books written in English.

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