E-books are electronic books or digital books that consist of content in text, image and tabular form. E-books are published electronically and can be read on electronic devices like smartphones, e-book reader and tablets. They can be categorized into two parts – open source ones, which users can download freely and those for which users have to pay. Paid e-books require special software and applications with the help of which they can be read. These books are available in various formats such as .odf, .txt, .pdf, .html, .lit, .epub, .prc, .dnl, .mobi, .azw etc. In order toread e-books on electronic devices, users are required to install specific software or app based on compatibility withe-book formats. For example, the .azw e-book format can only be read on Amazon Kindle software. E-books are used for e-newsletters, e-journals, e-magazines and so on. In recent years, several e-book providers have adopted the e-book formatting technique by using HTML and CSS tools. In addition, e-book publishers concentrate on the e-book file size compression, to enable their customers to download the e-books easily and read it with minimum configuration requirement.
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High penetration of smartphones, rising global appetite for e-book content in both English and other regional languages, increasing internet usage, online translation of e-books into various languages, government initiative and supportive policies for smart education, a growing trend of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) concept, and free availability of various e-books and e-book reader apps are some of the factors driving the growth of the e-book market. Moreover, the market is expected to experience a significant growth owing to an increase in uptake of e-books in education and media &entertainment sector. However, factors such as lack of awareness among the audience regarding content of e-book and requirement of specific software or app are hampering the growth of this market to some extent.
The e-book market can be segmented into verticals and geography. By verticals, the market can be divided into various categories such as educational institutes, media &entertainment and manufacturing. On the basis of geography, the e-book market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, Japan, Eastern Europe and Middle East & Africa.
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The e-book market is the fastest growing market in global book publishing industry, which is expected to show a substantial growth in CAGR, from 2014 to 2020. Among all the regions, North America is the dominating region in the e-book market. Factors such as high penetration of smartphone and smart devices, high internet usage and subscriptions have increased the market share of e-books in North America, as compared to other emerging regions such as Asia-Pacific and Middle East & Africa.
Some of the key participants in this market include McGraw-Hill, Wiley, Kensington Publishing Corp, Hachette, Cengage Learning, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House and self-published e-books. Major players in the market focus on introducing advanced e-book software and solutions in order to meet consumer demand and enhance their market share.
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