New research: UK trade publishers predict 2012 will be revenue tipping point for e-books

New research: UK trade publishers predict 2012 will be revenue tipping point for e-books

Today at the BML conference in London, I announced the results of a new study by BML, commissioned by Publishing Technology. The research compared the changing attitudes and ambitions of UK publishers over a ten year period, and shows how changing technologies and consumer demands are affecting the trade publishing industry. 

A fuller explanation of the results is available on our Blog - http://blog.publishingtechnology.com - but some of the key findings are provided below.


A third of UK trade publishers surveyed predict that over 10% of their total book revenue will come from e-books by 2012.

One in four UK academic publishers were already seeing 10% of their total book revenue coming from e-books in 2011, with double that predicting this would be the case in 2012.

66% of all publishers surveyed thought e-books were not displacing sales in other formats, but could actually lead to an expansion of the overall market, up from 44% ten years ago.

Publishers are optimistic about retaining their place in a digital world, with only 14% thinking e-books will take book publishing out of the control of conventional publishers.


If 2010 has been acknowledged as the year the e-book finally became a mass market reality, then it seems that 2012 will be the year e-books start making a significant impact on UK trade publishers incomes. This is exciting as publishers have been investing huge amounts in digital publishing.

I think we’ll increasingly see a divide between publishers who have embraced digital products and those that haven’t. These figures show that everyone needs to sit up and take notice to ensure that publishing houses are at the forefront of digital innovation.