May 23, 2022

New Report: “The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2014”

The new report is published by BookNet Canada. 

From a Summary/News Release:

Canadian publishers’ digital publishing programs continue to progress, according to a report released today by BookNet Canada.

The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2014 lays out the results of a survey conducted by BookNet Canada in early 2015. Over 70 respondents, representing small, mid-sized, and large publishers and distributors, reported on various aspects of their digital publishing programs, including staffing, ebook production & conversion, digital originals, enhanced ebooks & apps, ebook bundling, and ebook sales & distribution. Their responses were then compared to the results of the 2013 fielding of the same survey.

The percentage of publishers producing ebooks in 2014 increased slightly to 93% (vs 89% in 2013).

Of those producing ebooks, close to half have digitized more than 50% of their active titles, and almost a quarter have converted over 75% of their backlist titles. The majority of publishers (65%) choose to publish print and ebook formats of a title simultaneously, while 29% delay the ebook edition until after the print version is available. When asked for the main reasons to publish ebooks, the most popular response was to increase sales (77%), followed closely by to meet customer demand (63%). Only 5% cited “as a mechanism to lower costs” as a reason to produce ebooks–a noticeable drop from 15% in 2013. The development of enhanced ebooks and apps remained fairly steady from 2013 to 2014, whereas more publishers are publishing digital originals: from 27% in 2013 to 35% in 2014.

The main sales channel was ebook retailers (95%), followed by direct (66%) and wholesale (43%). Ebook retailers also generated the most revenue for 69% of respondents, while only 12% reported receiving the most revenue through their direct sales channel. The percentage of publishers offering direct sales is up significantly, however–from 42% in 2013 to 66% in 2014. The majority of publishers (69%) report that ebook sales make up 1-10% of their revenue, while 17% of publishers derive 11-20% of their revenue from ebook sales. As for libraries, the majority of publishers surveyed (75%) sell ebooks to libraries, up from 61% in 2013.

Libraries and Ebooks

Pages 33-34 provide data (three charts) about:

  • Library Ebook Sales
  • Pricing for Libraries
  • Library Distribution

From the Libraries and Ebooks Section:

  • Three-quarters of publishers sell ebooks to libraries (up from 61% in 2013).
  • Almost half of publishers (49%) are selling to libraries at the same price as retail, with an additional 25% of publishers selling for a form of multiple pricing.
  • OverDrive continues to be the most popular ebook vendor with 82% of publishers, however 3M made a significant jump in 2014, going from only 8% of publishers in 2013 to 35%.

Direct to Full Text Report (36 pages; PDF)
Loaded with data and charts.

Source: BookNet Canada

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.