At the London Book Fair 2011, a survey of visiting publishers was carried out by IBS Bookmaster and has revealed that 79% of publishers expect sales of eBooks to overtake physical book sales within 15 years. Of this, 32% expect to achieve this within 10 years and 15% within 5. Only 18% said that ebook sales will never surpass physical.
Ludo Hertroijs, VP of IBS Bookmaster, comments, “The belief within publishers that eBook sales are set to increase dramatically over the next 10 years or so is very much in line with our own product roadmap, which is focused on delivering digital and web enablement solutions. EBooks need much the same level of transactional management and reporting requirements as physical books and our software provides a seamless, publishing specific solution to achieve this. For example, the management of royalties, rights and permissions is made even more complex by digital content sales and publishers need advanced, integrated systems to help them deal with this efficiently and cost-effectively.”
The same question asked at last year’s LBF revealed that only 60% believed eBook sales would surpass physical in the same time frame. However, this may have been due to the lack of international visitors thanks to the Icelandic ash cloud.
The survey also revealed that 63% of publishers do not see the current economic climate as being a hindrance to investment in new technology. This is up from 41% last year and shows that confidence is returning to the industry. A major concern for publishers though is the effect that discount retailers, such as supermarkets and Amazon, will have on margins. 84% have expressed this as their most pressing issue, up from 65% last year.
“We had several good conversations with publishers and distributors over the course of the show,” adds Hertroijs, concluding, “The need to incorporate digital and web-based strategies into their supply chains falls right into our capability sweet spot. We have a complete integrated system offering that delivers a comprehensive solution from editorial and book production right through to detailed sales reporting and forecasting. We are pleased to see that the results of this survey are in line with the product roadmap that we have announced.”