• by Dan Strempel
  • March 27 2018


E-Books an Emerging Market for Scholarly and Professional Publishers

E-Books an Emerging Market for Scholarly and Professional Publishers

While most scholarly and professional publishers have adopted strategies to find new growth in emerging markets, e-books are one space where the focus is on North America. The healthy growth of digital books is propped up by North America. The chart above shows that it is the largest geographic region, accounting for 52% of global professional e-book sales. About 90% of North American sales are contributed by U.S., the largest professional book market and the one with the highest e-book adoption percentage among major markets.

U.S. dominance is particularly strong in law, a large and highly-digital market. The American legal and tax systems are by far more complex and generate much more book content when compared to other publishing markets, such as China and Japan.

The North American market is more advanced in its adoption of digital delivery of books driven by higher digital usage in law, medicine and business.

Europe is the largest social science and humanities print book market, but that has not translated to a really strong e-books market mainly because of the lower uptake of e-books outside of the English language. Europe is second to North America even in social science and humanities e-books.

Asia-Pacific is a strong growth market in almost every other segment of scholarly and professional publishing, however, the largest print book markets of Japan, India and China have been e-book laggards.

The Rest of World regional category is small, but has potential. Library budgets are still growing and investments are being made in consortia and online services as new universities are opening, hospitals are expanding and legal systems are growing in much of the region.

Simba Information’s Scholarly & Professional E-Book Publishing 2018-2022 relies on primary and secondary research to estimate company, market and regional geographic performance in 2017, with market projections to 2022. The overall market is divided into five subject based categories: law, business, scientific and technical, medical and social sciences and humanities.