E-Commerce in the Publishing Industry: Trends, Consumer Preferences, and Outlook

E-Commerce in the Publishing Industry: Trends, Consumer Preferences, and Outlook

Andrei Maxim (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, Romania) and Alexandru Maxim (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch085
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This chapter seeks to provide an up to date assessment of the trends in sales and consumer preferences in several national publishing markets, as well as a brief overview of the transition that the industry is experiencing at a global level. Assessing the preferences of book buyers and the changes in the way that the publishing sector functions can be done using traditional methodologies of primary and secondary data collection and analysis, as demonstrated in previous studies (Lin, Chiou, & Huang, 2013; Maxim & Maxim, 2012; Øiestad & Bugge, 2014; Pinto, Pouliot, & Cordón-García, 2014). However, there are several methodological difficulties in assessing sales trends in the publishing industry, which are discussed below. These issues generate specific limitations that need to be taken into consideration when determining the outlook for the publishing sector.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Self-Publishing: The publishing of books and other similar materials directly by the author, without the support of a publishing house. In the case of e-books this can be done through the use of specialized online platforms that usually do not assume responsibility for the quality of the content and do not require authors to transfer intellectual rights.

Brick and Mortar Store: The physical premises of a company where transactions with customers take place.

E-Book Reader: An electronic device specially designed for reading e-books, usually similar in shape and size with a tablet. Unlike tablets, e-book readers use a special type of screen that is not backlit and resembles printed paper.

E-Commerce: Commerce conducted over the internet or through other means of electronic transfer.

ISBN: Abbreviation for International Standard Book Number, which is a number that can be used to uniquely identify a book.

Publishing Industry: Activities, processes and actors involved in the production and distribution of books, e-books and other text based materials.

E-Book: An electronic book, in the form of a digital computer file, containing text and sometimes other types of content such as pictures, sounds, videos, and animations.

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