eBooks Now 3% of the French Book Market

The past and Future of French eBook Reading Tech
The Past and Future of French eBook Reading Tech

eBooks might be seeing immense popularity in US and UK but they’re not having the same luck in France. There’s a new report out this week that shows that ebooks are still a negligible part of the french book market.

According to the latest report from the Syndical national de l’édition (SNE), ebook market share rose from 1% in 2011 to 3% this year. That is a rather small percentage when compared to the US (21.67% for 2012), or even the UK (10% ish for 2012), but still higher than the most recent estimates for Germany (2.4% for 2012).

The report also noted that the latest estimates from the market research GfK suggest that 15 mullion smartphones will be in use in France by the end of 2013, along with 5 million tablets and half a million ereaders.

Yes, only 500,000 ereaders. While this might end up being one of the factors that hold back the ebook market in France, there is also a chance that France could be one of the markets that completely bypasses the ereader ownership stage that the US passed through. I have been suggesting this possibility since February of this year but TBH there’s been no evidence yet that this has happened anywhere.

And I’m not sure France has enough devices to spark a rise in ebook sales. Nevermind the 500,000 ereaders; the 5 million tablets and 15 million smartphones represents a small percentage of metropolitan France’s adult population, which is currently estimated to be roughly 48 million. In comparison the latest figures from the Pew Research Center indicate that 56% of American adults own a smartphone, 34% own a tablet, and 26% own an ereader.

But in spite of the limited market success of ebooks and the limited number of potential reading devices, the report is highly optimistic about the future possibilities. My source indicates that the report cites a number of positive trends, including a growing interest in France ereaders and ebooks.


image by Luigi Rosa

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. David9 July, 2013

    Is there a way to buy popular French ebooks in the US and read them on a Kinde?

    1. Nate Hoffelder23 March, 2015

      There’s the Kindle Store.

  2. […] quanto riportato da The Digital Reader, sembra che il fenomeno ebook non stia avendo, in Francia, il medesimo successo riscontrtato negli […]

  3. A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – Mid-July 2013 | KD DID IT Takes on Books15 July, 2013

    […] issues you should consider paying attention to is awhether a big enough market exists for eBooks. France must still be considering the eBook when you realize that “ebook market share rose from 1% in 2011 to 3% this year” in […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top