Punditsmight still be debating as to whether the US ebook market grew in 2013, but the record is clear that the global ebook market as a whole grew in 2013.
In addition to a report that the German ebook market was exepcted to double in size by the end of 2013, there is also news today that the Brazilian, Dutch, and Russian ebook markets also saw excellent growth over the past calendar year.
In the Netherlands BOEKBLAD reported this week that Centraal Boekhuis recorded the distribution of 1.95 million ebooks in 2013, up from 1.2 million ebooks distributed in 2012. In 2013 ebooks made up 3.2% of overall book sales.
CB is the leading distributor for ebooks in the Netherlands, and they reported that the number of available titles grew from 19,230 to 28,319 with the majority of titles (80%) protected by digital watermark DRM. They also reported that the growth rate was accelerating, with the 2013 ebook sales equaling the combined sales of 2013 and 2012 (720,000 ebooks).
And from the Portuguese-speaking part of South America there are reports that the major publishers believe that ebooks made up 2% to 3% of the market in 2013, up from 1% in 2012. Editora Objectiva, for example, reported selling 15,000 ebooks in 2012 and 95,000 ebooks in 2013, a five-fold increase. Marcos Pereira of Editora Sextante reported that ebooks made up 2% of revenues at that Brazilian publisher, with some titles like Dan Brown's Inferno showing a spike of nearly 5% in digital sales.
And last but not least a new estimate out of Russia is suggesting that this ebook market is expected to reach 500 million rubles ($14.9 million USD) in 2013. That estimate comes from Sergei Anuriev, CEO of LitRes, Russia’s largest distributor and seller of ebooks. It's not entirely clear where he got the estimate, not can I tell you whether it is accurate, but he also claimed that Russia's ebook market in 2013 was almost double that of 2012, when it was at the level of 260 million rubles.
If that estimate is accurate then it would represent a shocking level of growth. Unlike Brazil and the Netherlands, Russia has not benefited from the attention of the major ebookstores. A doubling of sales in a market lacking the presence of Amazon, Kobo, or Apple is unheard of and needs to be taken with a grain of salt. (I await further data.)
image by Edvvc