The books and publishing ecosystem has endured a shift of colossal nature, owing to the advent of e-books as an alternative to physical formats, making literature more comprehensive and mobile. E-books have found an audience in the younger generation, owing to ease in readability and even the corporate arena, alongside the educational system is embracing the new digital format. The acceleration in growth is injected due to factors such as digital boom, low cost of production, minimal investments, and decrease in storage costs while covering a larger base in a cost-effective manner.

Publications are renovating their practices, as many customers go online for consumption of books. This move has goaded traditional publication to venture into digital for revenue and profits. Similarly, digital books continue to gain traction market share, accountable at 8% to 10% of revenue for some major publishing.

Scale of growth

The e-publishing market has been powered by a series of technological advancements, recently. The use of handheld devices and personalized machines, alongside augmentation of interface with high speed connectivity, has grown exponentially with the progress of time. The variety of lightweight and user-friendly e-book readers and handheld devices in the market, developed in such a way to mimic the feel of a regular book, has eased the mass into the benefits of e-books.

Piracy and copyright issues

Before e-publication can be accepted, loopholes around piracy and copyright need to be regulated. The internet is a cesspool of highly dubious nature; plagiarism and copyright violation are rampant threats faced by the authors daily. Books uploaded on the internet have multiple copies, with online hackers coming up with sophisticated ways to make it free to download. Also, free sharing is a big issue, with authors and publications losing revenue in the process.  Steps such as login based access, IP-based access, and third-party access modes that are being executed to curb free e-book download.

Adoption of e-publishing by publishers

There’s a new pattern that is slowly gathering appeal amongst the publishing circle. Publishers are more keen to e-publish their books initially, using it as a yardstick to test the market before going to press. This inexpensive strategy helps the publishers to gauge initial response to the book and proceed further, saving a lot of expenditure on printing and advertisement. With e-books, publishers are coming up with new ways of increasing revenue through sponsored links, in-book advertising, add-on applications, and e-book subscriptions.

The e-publishing market has been powered by a series of technological advancements, recently. The use of handheld devices and personalised machines, alongside augmentation of interface with high-speed connectivity, has grown exponentially with the passage of time.

Acceptance by authors

Authors are wary of exploring this option, due to pose piracy and copyright issues. While the benefits of reaching out to a larger audience are lucrative enough, it is more often used as an extension to the print version of a book, not just a standalone means of publishing. Recently, multitude of small/medium/big-time authors and experts are coming up with e-books that range from the most light-hearted to highly technical topics. Also, decrease in publication time adds to quick relevance in regards to success of the book.

The road from here

As predicted by all major publishing houses and the usage trends, organizations are enhancing their hosting and publications to provide better results.  Advanced interactivity, incorporation of audio books, word meanings and pronunciations, references, quick translations, and easy search are just some of the features that would enhance readability and platform alike. Emergence of e-Readers that host content in a variety of Indian dialects, furthering the readership to the rural level, are going to add the necessary boost to consumption. Also, owing to the Inclusive Publishing movement, platforms are being developed for those who have reading disabilities, to include them into the world of literary expression. Such developments would benefit publication, authors and in all, the readers, to opt for digital formats on a more molecular level.

The author is the Executive Director of ePUB-Hub


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