According to new research released by Publishing Technology at BML’s annual Books & Consumers Conference a third of UK trade publishers think that over 10% of their total book revenue will come from e-books by 2012.
The survey showed that one in four UK academic publishers were already seeing 10% of their total book revenue coming from e-books in 2011, with double that predicting this would be the case in 2012. The feedback from trade publishers suggests that e-book sales are growing more slowly than recent headlines have stated.
In the US, e-book statistics for January have put digital sales at about a quarter of total sales—a figure backed by UK publisher Bloomsbury earlier this year and Hachette Livre c.e.o. Arnaud Nourry this week—while in the UK trade publishers have been privately revising their sales forecasts based on January and February figures. However, as the survey notes, expectations don't always turn into reality. In the 2001 survey, nearly half (46%) of publishers predicted that over 10% of their revenue would come from e-books by 2006; in fact, in 2011 only 10% say that this is the case.
The survey collated data from 23 publishers, with 31 responses, with the interviews for the 2011 research conducted in February this year.