Here’s this article in DNA by Priyanka Golikeri which speaks of how ebooks will over time be the next big thing in publishing in India. The market in India is still nascent at less than 1% of a Rs. 10,000 crore book publishing industry.
But guess what? Ebooks are growing at 100% and every publisher is accelerating plans to be in this space. As readers in India get more savvy, they expect the benefits that ebooks give them including, the capability of highlighting key points, searching for terms, creating notes etc. As is the trend world wide, ebooks cost a fraction of the published book because there are no costs associated with warehousing, logistics and the like which make up a large proportion of the publishing costs.
Online portals like Flipkart have too taken to ebooks very recently. They hope to target those who prefer to read on their mobile devices.
Abroad, more than in India, ebooks have propelled the growth of a huge self-publishing industry. This will happen over time in India as well as authors strive to get more from their book than the royalty they currently get from their publisher. In self-publishing the rewards for the author could be much, much higher especially in the case of ebooks.
I see the ebook segment will be small over the next five years in India but will grow very rapidly. Every publisher will have to offer the option of ebooks. It will no longer be a matter of choice of a few. Readers will benefit by having more accesss to books than they currently do with more titles being made available as ebooks and authors too will gain as reading becomes more popular due to the conveniences of ” modern reading” if I may use the phrase.
So there seems to be good news all around. Bring on the ebooks, I say.