How close is India to this inflection point from where the local market for eBooks can be expected to really take off? Around 18-24 months, feels Santanu Chowdhury, CEO of Swiftboox, a store that specialises in ebooks in Indian regional languages. VK Karthika, publisher and chief editor, HarperCollins India, agrees: “When eBooks first started to come in, I had thought they would take 10 years to reach India; then last year, when we started working on our ebooks programme, I thought it would be five years. Now I think it will take about two years.”
That India has a lot of potential is something everyone in publishing agrees upon. “India is the third largest market for English books,” says Amazon India’s spokesperson. “A high propensity for reading, coupled with growth in literacy, increasing Internet penetration, Internet-enabled devices and a rapid growth of middle class population with increasing disposable income make it a very promising market.” No wonder then that everyone — publishers, stores (both online and brick-and-mortar) and manufacturers of eBook reader devices and apps — is hurrying to grab an early-mover advantage in the eBooks space.
Via Andoni Sagarna Izagirre