E-books are a relatively new entry into the publishing market. With technology improving at breakneck speed, the e-books industry worldwide has quickly grown. People are now able to carry their books with them everywhere they go and have access to several books with a few clicks. It would be interesting to speculate what 2015 holds in store for the e-books industry in India.
1. Sluggish growth
E-books have not really taken off in India in a big way, yet. In comparison with countries like USA, where e-books constitute around 23% of sales made, India has hardly made a dent in the market. There are some good reasons for it, including the fact that the price of Kindles and e-readers are not affordable to a large section of society. Another reason is that traditional books are often cheaper than e-books in India, or there is hardly a difference. Faced with this choice, the reader prefers to buy the printed books. Although 2015 is not expected to buck the trend, industry experts do expect growth in e-books in India to be imminent.
2. Smaller publishers
The e-books industry has provided an impetus for smaller publishers to enter the book publishing market. The entry cost into this industry is typically lower than for traditional publishing. The books are never out of print and there is no risk of over-printing or under-printing. Since smaller publishers generally have lesser funds at their disposal, they may prefer not to take the risk of using up money on printing books, which they might not be able to sell. In addition, shipping costs are also reduced. This means we might see more newcomers entering the e-books market.
3. New e-readers in the market
The fate of e-books will foremost and first depend on the variety and price of e-readers available in the market. Amazon and other companies are bringing out newer and better versions in order to entice the Indian reader. In January, Amazon offered a discount of Rs. 1000 on all their Kindles. These kind of discounts and lowering of prices overall is expected this year, which might give a push up to the industry in general.
4. Pustaka Digital Media
E-books can also be borrowed, and libraries are nowadays quite open towards exploring options for providing books to their customers in a digital format. Pustaka Digital Media was started in Bangalore as an attempt to reach out to the regional language readership. This portal provides a secure database that checks piracy and hence more and more authors are expected to sell their copyrights to the library. This kind of lending might become more and more popular in this year and in the future, as both authors and readers find this medium more convenient and cost-effective.
Piracy of e-books in India remains a concern. Several reasons have been given for this. One is that the price of e-books is not as low as the general public expects. It does not help matters that pirated books are easily available through torrents and other sites. Indian publishers have long been under fire for not protecting authors and their work in the digital media, but recently, some efforts have been seen for curbing this kind of piracy with better security. If this can be dealt with, then 2015 might very well be a good year for the e-books industry in spite of the slow market growth.
Image credit: Alexander Pfeiffenberger on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_20141217_101736441.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kavitha is a freelance content writer and French translator, and has been working in this field since 2008. She has degrees in computer applications and international business and has a background in business and international trade. She enjoys learning languages and is currently learning Japanese. Her interests vary from books and writing to travelling and history.[/author_info] [/author]