In what is a fascinating piece for a number of reasons, The Telegraph reports on Bloomsbury’s successes in selling ebooks. I’m struck most forcefully by three things:
- Richard Charkin is as refreshingly open, honest and forthright as ever, which is good to see. We still miss his blog though.
- Bloomsbury have been playing the game pretty well on the library front and their partnership with Exact Editions seems to be yielding dividends.
- Charkin highlights the speed at which older readers are taking up ebooks. I’m not terribly surprised by this, but it is interesting, considering they remain amongst the most loyal readers!
Richard Charkin, executive director, said: “If sales continue the way they have in January and February, which we would fully expect, they are going to be off the scale. If that is an indicator of future growth then we expect digital sales of Bloomsbury titles be as high as 25pc of sales. They could be even higher.”
Bloomsbury, which reported £90.7m sales and £5.5m of pre-tax profits last year, would not reveal what proportion of profits ebook sales were likely to account for in 2011, but it is expected to be considerably higher than 25pc. Digital book margins are higher because there are no printing costs involved nor any extra costs incurred by over-estimating print runs or pulping books with errors in them. “The biggest saving is in cock-ups,” Mr Charkin said.