Despite What You Heard, E-books Never Stopped Growing

Readers today have an enormous variety of content available to them at any time of the day, and this material is available in a number of formats and through a range of digitally connected devices. For authors, selling an e-book to a reader in a different country is just as easy as selling to a reader in your home country; all with just a click of a button. The global ebook marketplace is a seamlessly international one. Print bookselling, however, remains artificially silo’d by country even today, for variety of logistical, legal and even historical reasons.

Contrary to media accounts reporting on the shrinking e-book market, e-book sales never declined, according the data site, Author Earnings. So why is there a disconnect?

First, publishing data is elusive — nobody really counts everything in the same way with the same time periods and methodology. However, in order to get to the bottom of this, we need to understand something called “agency pricing”.

Understanding Agency Pricing

Under the traditional “wholesale” pricing model, publishers would charge booksellers roughly around half the cover price of a book, leaving booksellers to discount the books if they wanted. To sell more of its Kindle e-readers, Amazon began offering many titles below cost, including best sellers. Publishers disliked the strategy, fearing it would make it harder for them to sell hardcovers at higher prices.

Now, around the time Apple prepared to launch the iPad in 2010, they got into an arrangement with the publishers allowing them to set their own prices. Under this arrangement, called “agency pricing”, publishers received 70% of the retail price and Apple took a 30% commission. But Apple also insisted that publishers couldn’t sell more cheaply on any rival platform, allowing the publishers to imposed the same model on Amazon. Overnight, many national best-sellers went from $9.99 on Amazon to $12.99 and $14.99. Sometime in 2015, Amazon then changed its strategy to discount print books more aggressively, resulting in a sudden growth of print sales.

Key Takeaways

We now live in a world where 69 percent of book sales — print, digital, and audio — are online and only 31% in brick-and-mortar stores.

Amazon sales in the last two years suggest that the ebook market is not flat or shrinking but in fact is still growing. Between early 2016 and early 2017, overall Amazon US ebook sales grew another 4%.

Self-published indie authors are verifiably capturing at least 24% – 34% of all ebook sales.

As of February 2017, titles published by the Big Five Publishers made up 20.8% of all Amazon US consumer ebook purchases.

S4Carlisle – Simplifying e-book Conversion

We have been privileged to work with some of the biggest names in print and publishing from around the world. Experience our top-quality and affordable e-book conversion services today. Write to us at to learn more about our complete list of services and work on your e-book conversion projects.

We have a defined and systematic workflow process that ensures that all your requirements are met. Be it cover design, proof-reading, language editing, creation of new images and illustrations, or using stock-images; we will always strive to offer customer delight!

We produce the following types of e-books:

  • ePub 3.0 – Liquid Layout (Reflowable) & Fixed Layout
  • ePub 2.0 – Liquid Layout (Reflowable) & Fixed Layout
  • Math ePub using MathMl for iPad
  • Vital Source ePub 3.0 (VST ePub) – Liquid Layout (Reflowable) & Fixed Layout
  • Enhanced ePub with Audio & Video Embedded – Fixed & Liquid / Reflowable Layout
  • Enhanced ePub with Media Overlay – (Audio & Text Highlight)
  • Kindle e-book Conversion – Fixed & Liquid / Reflowable Layout,/li>
  • Kindle Comic Conversion

PDF – e-book:

  • WEB PDF/ Interactive PDF with all internal & Links
  • Interactive PDF with Audio & Video Embedded.
  • Interactive PDF with Forms
  • Accessible PDFs

Features that we can integrate within an e-book:

  • Audio & Video Embedded.
  • Animations using GIF/Flash.
  • Question & Answer section.
  • Media overlay using SMIL tagging with Audio Descriptions & Text Highlight.
  • Page labels.
  • Navigation TOC.
  • Landmarks for e-books.
  • Math Equations using MathML & JPEG images.
  • Active Internal & External hyperlinks.
  • Linked Index Terms.
  • Figures captured as JPEG at 200 PPI and optimized to render well across all devices.
  • Multiple CSS to render content across various devices.
  • Tables with responsive layout to render well across various devices.
  • Fonts embedded based on client requirements.

Languages Supported

We accept e-book conversion and creation projects for the following languages – English UK & US, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, French, Chinese, Korean, German, Greek, Hebrew & regional Indian languages.



Looking Beyond Flash and Migrating to HTML5

In early 2015, YouTube engineer Richard Leider said that – “YouTube has dumped Flash in favour of HTML5 for its default web player.” This was an important announcement and in many ways the final nail in the coffin for Adobe’s much-loved Flash Player. In 1996, Flash Player was introduced by Macromedia as a tool to play videos, animation and audio-files. Flash Player grew in popularity and soon became the de-facto plug-in to play multimedia elements on websites. The growth of eLearning and the increasing use of videos in eLearning course-content also saw designers using Flash Player with greater frequency.

Over the years, two things significantly tilted things away from the popularity of ‘Flash’:

  1. The discovery of security vulnerabilities in Flash that gave hackers a chance to break into websites and mobile devices.
  2. The smartphone revolution that led to an increasing section of users consuming content on their mobile and tablet devices.

Flash Player was designed to work on computers and web browsers. The growth of technology and the internet has seen an entire new generation of products. Today we have smart televisions, streaming devices, all-powerful smartphones running on different operating systems and much more. HTML5 is the perfect fit for websites to render multimedia content in the best way possible. HTML5’s adoption of Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) is one of the key factors for its growing popularity. ABR allows websites to change the video resolution based on the network connectivity speed; this helps reduce the video buffering time and load on heavily congested networks.

Time till 2020

Post 2020, there will be no official development release or support for Flash from Adobe. Hence it is important for organizations to get their Flash-based content converted to HTML5 or WebGL. HTML5 is more popular because it is device-agnostic and delivers high-quality media-rich content with ease on both mobile and web-based browsers. Plus, no additional plug-ins are needed to view HTML5 content.

Impact on the eLearning Industry

The eLearning industry is definitely bearing a huge brunt of the problems created by the increased dependency on Flash and Adobe’s decision to shut down support for Flash. eLearning courses take a fairly long time to get created with sizeable sums of money and significant effort invested in getting a good eLearning course ready. It will be difficult to recreate such courses and it makes business sense to convert these courses to HTML5 and ensure that they are easily accessed by learners across devices.

S4Carlise – A Seal of Trust and Efficiency

At S4Carlisle, we can help you convert your old Flash-based content to HTML5. With a proven track-record in course conversion of eLearning courses catering to different industries; we can help convert your old Flash-based courses to HTML5 with ease. We have a skilled team of developers, programmers and graphic designers who love challenges and execute work with passion and dedication. Write to us at with your requirements and we will get in touch right away to help you switch to HTML5.