India has been hailed as a prospective market for books, a derivative of the passion in people for reading. E-book, the digital format of book, was an unknown area to tread even four years back in the country. But, as new technology creates new readers, technology enthusiasts began to opt for e-books and read them on a regular basis. As the advent of e-books become more prominent in India, publishers and readers wonder whether if the era of physical, paper books is drawing to a close. Touted as a tech marvel, e-readers along with the recent addition of smartphones and tablets, have emerged as the supporting platforms that work in conjunction with e-books.
Drivers that help the sector to prosper include growth in education, increase in internet users, demographical alterations, increase of internet enabled computing devices, improvised content and publishers save costs in this format. Books will find its takers only when the literacy rate of population is healthy. Increase in the number of internet users has a close link with the growth of e-books as the product can be bought only through internet. Factors like demographical alterations affect positively as the youth take interest in trying out new innovative products and become more tech-savvy. Improvised content in the likes of multimedia enriched content, audio and video add-ons create that stir which attracts readers. Finally, publishers opt for this format as they save a lot of costs and manage to gain in the long run. While these factors can be termed as growth drivers there are certain factors that act as impediments to the sector including negative consumer perspective related to cyber security & piracy, high prices of e-book readers, majority focus on academic text books and lack of touch and feel element.
Some of the major trends identified in the sector include application approval from Apple, retail chain offering e-book reading application, drive to convert books into digital formats, foreign giant setting stores in India, technological add-ons, digital rights management and sports category emerges as a thriving option. The e-books market in India is though at nascent stage, however it is slated to usher in a positive change in the coming 1-2 years.