October 14, 2012

Frankfurt Book Fair 2012: Emphasis on mobile phones as the ebook revolution goes global

impression-halle-3-1-2012.jpeg Among the digital trends at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year: Startups selling ebooks, self-publishing developments, and an emphasis on mobile phones as the ebook revolution goes global. paincontent.org reports.

Going global, thinking mobile

quotemarksright.jpgAs digital reading expands globally, it won’t look the way it has in the West. In particular, mobile phones could be key in less wealthy countries, but many of those opportunities are so far untapped.

Ebooks are already selling well on mobile phones in China. ... China has over one billion cell phone users and 300 million smartphone users as of March 2012 and China Mobile, one of two major telecom providers in China, is the country’s largest ebook platform.

Publishers may be reluctant to sell foreign rights to China Mobile, as it takes a huge cut of sales — at least 50 percent and sometimes as much as 70 percent — and sells the ebooks at a 90 percent discount from the print price.

A panel on potential for ebooks in sub-Saharan Africa also focused on mobile. Ben Williams, a South African bookseller mentioned mobile payments company M-PESA as “one of the most sophisticated banking services you can have in Africa” and said digital bookstores could be built on top of it.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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