E-book Retailer CEOs Predict steady rise in e-book Sales and Transformation of Global Book Trade

The Kobo E-reader

E-book sales continued their stratospheric rise in the US market according to the latest statistics released by the International Digital Publishing Forum. Figures compiled by the IDPF in conjunction with the Association of American Publishers, show that trade e-book sales in the US for July amounted to $40,800,000 – a 250% increase over July 2009 ($16,300,000). The U.S. is currently the biggest market for e-readers and e-books.

The IDPF data represents only trade e-book sales via wholesale channels and does not include library, educational or professional electronic sales. The retail numbers may be as much as double the above estimates due to industry wholesale discounts, says the IDPF. The IDPF numbers reflect data submitted by approximately 12 to 15 trade publishers.

All this is music to the ears Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who has been touting the increase of sales in the Kindle Store which, according to a recent Amazon announcement, have been outstripping its sales of hardcover . Speaking to USA Today he predicted that Amazon’s ebook sales would surpass its paperback sales in the next nine to 12 months. “Sometime after that, we’ll surpass the combination of paperback and hardcover. It stuns me,” said Bezos.

Meanwhile Markus Dohle, the Chief Executive of Bertelsmann’s Random House, the world’s biggest book publisher, told German magazine Der Spiegel that the company’s e-book sales in the US had jumped to 8 percent and is now a new growth driver for Random House. Although he said he didn’t expect global e-book sales to surpass the sales of printed books in the next five years, he predicted that “the share will probably be somewhere between 25 and 50 percent by 2015, even in the United States.”

Chief executive of global e-book retailer Kobo, Michael Serbinis has added his voice to the growing number of industry executives predicting a steady increase in e-book and e-reader sales in the near future. Kobo which launched its own e-reader in May is backed by Toronto-based Indigo Books & Music, Borders, REDgroup Retail, Cheung Kong Holdings, and other leaders in technology and retail. In an interview with Canada’s CBC News, Serbinis discussed the revolutionary dynamics of the global e-book market and how it is likely to completely transform publishing. Read his interesting and thought-provoking feedback on CBC News


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