E-books - Statistics & Facts

Technology and mobility have influenced every step of consumer’s life, including the way they read books. Book readers have started to change their reading habits, opting for different types of formats of books, such as e-books. An e-book, also known as an electronic or digital book, is a digitally released version of a book, often consisting of text and images and available on electronic devices, such as specifically designed e-book readers. This shift in media consumption habits has a direct impact in the book industry. The e-book industry is here to stay, showing healthy projections. By 2018, e-book sales are forecast to account for about a quarter of global book sales. Consumer e-books alone are projected to generate nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2018.

E-books have found their place in the hearts of American bookworms – 20 percent of book readers in the U.S. stated they read more e-books than hard copy books, and 23 percent read about the same number of hard copy books and e-books. In 2016, about 73 percent American book consumers stated they read books in any format, and about 30 percent stated reading at least one e-book in the past year. This consumption also has a positive reflection on revenue generation. Between 2013 and 2018, revenue from e-book sales in the U.S. is forecast to nearly double. Daily sales of e-books of online retailer Amazon in the U.S. alone stood at more than 517.5 thousand units as of January 2016, with e-books published by independent publishers accounting for the largest share of this total. Popular e-readers among U.S. publishers and authors include Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPad, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Kobo, an e-reader produced by Canadian company Kobo Inc.

Libraries also try to cater to readers’ needs. Overall, 94 percent of U.S. public libraries offer e-books, a significant increase in comparison to the 2010 figure, when only 72 percent of the public libraries in the U.S. had e-books available. About 18 percent of the U.S. public libraries had access to 1,000 to 4,999 e-books; the median number of e-books accessed amounted to approximately 14.4 thousand. From these e-books available in public libraries in the U.S., about 74 percent of them are fiction publications, and about 26 percent are non-fictions. Readers are also increasingly using e-book lending libraries to borrow books.

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E-books in the U.S. - Important statistics

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