Reading revolution: e-book market set to pass print books by 2017

kindledx

Amazon is selling the Kindle DX again.

As the e-book battle between Apple and the U.S. Justice Department continues in court this week, new reports are out showing the rapid growth of the e-book market itself.

New projections from PwC indicate that the consumer e-book market will reach $8.2 billion in sales by 2017 and pass that of the printed book market for the first time.

PwC also estimates that e-books will account for 22 percent of all books sold worldwide by that time, an increase from 9 percent in 2012. Those projections were made using data from retail spending on consumer books.

As the e-book market continues to grow, it will be interesting to see which companies take advantage. Amazon and Apple seem to be the frontrunners, with Barnes and Noble hanging around with its Nook business, one that Microsoft was rumored to be acquiring.

Former Amazon manager Jason Merkoski, one of the early leaders of the company’s Kindle team, wrote an insightful piece a few months ago about the e-book war, saying that better design will be part of the rebirth of reading:

The winner of this war won’t be decided by generals with scale models of battleships and airplanes and tanks on a simulated table. No, it will be decided by designers, by user-interface artists, by people who connect to the humanistic spirit that flourished in the Renaissance as print books gained in popularity. The Renaissance saw the rise of read­able fonts, innovations in binding and page layout, and the placement of illustrations. And typographers always experiment, whether with the more lavish encrustations of the Art Nouveau period or the German grid style that emerged in modern times.

Previously on GeekWire: Welcome back: Amazon selling Kindle DX again … Bookworms unite! Amazon says these are the nation’s most well-read cities

  • evanjacobs

    Just to be clear, that $8.2B number was for US trade (consumer) e-books only. The global market for trade e-books in 2017 is projected to be $22.7B.