eBook sales in the UK have grown to such an extent that they account for more than a fifth of the overall book market (according to recent Bowker Market Research
). eBook sales in South Africa are on the rise and often see similar market trends, therefore we should expect to see the growth rate of eBooks plateau. However despite this slight slow-down, sales figures still show evidence of a strong market for eBooks consumers, particularly amongst academic material and children's books.
Nielsen advises that "as the overall market for eBooks gets bigger, publishers will need to sell ever greater volumes of eBooks in order to report significant growth, which is harder to achieve in a larger market."
SA publishers are pioneers for large-scale eBook sales
Malcolm Seegers, Digital Publisher, of Macmillan comments, "There is a great need for standardisation and simplification of the whole eBook purchasing and distribution model... a sales and distribution platform that fills all the needs of education. This includes highlighting, making notes, ePUB 3 support, offline distribution and a DRM system that satisfies all publishers."
Many of South Africa's largest leading publishers are pioneers for the movement of distributing their large catalogue of textbooks digitally; Oxford University Press joins Macmillan and Pearson, in selling their educational and training material via the Snapplify eBook distribution channel.
"Snapplify has provided cost-effective and creative solutions for the distribution of OUP content to customers directly. Their can-do attitude is aimed at solving problems quickly and they have proved to be generous in their sharing of their experiences of what works in the world of digital." Steve Cilliers, MD at Oxford University Press South Africa.
Publishers should invest in a reliable digital publishing partner that understands their market
Publishers should seek digital partners with relevant experience to their publishing needs; experience in emerging markets and with educational content and the requirements thereof are of high priority and can be rare.
Oxford University Press partnered with Realm Digital who provided the large-scale content conversion service that enabled the selling of their educational content via eBook distribution with Snapplify, effectively increasing the contents value, and simplifying the digitising workflow without compromising the content.