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E-book publishers facing declining reading interest: expert

E-book publishers facing declining reading interest: expert

Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) A decline in the habit of reading is one of the challenges facing e-book publishers around the world, a Malaysian publishing expert said Wednesday in Taipei. "If the population is not reading, they are not reading in whichever format," whether on a smartphone or tablet computer, said Teri Tan, deputy secretary-general of Asia Pacific Publishers Association, at the Taipei International Book Exhibition. Social media, which requires a shorter attention span, has made the situation worse, she said in a digital publication forum. People are networking and playing games instead of reading, said Tan, who is also an international correspondent for the American trade news magazine Publishers Weekly. She proposed re-defining what an e-book means, saying it should not be just an electronic copy of a print book. Publishers need to add audios, videos and interactive content to their e-books, Tan suggested. "You have to add value to your e-book. You have to enhance it," she said. Tan also noted that there are differences in the e-book markets in United States and the Asia Pacific region. In the United States, fiction sells while in Asia, educational books are the most popular, she said, predicting that e-book growth in Asia will be driven mostly by the e-learning sector. Meanwhile, despite the steady increase of e-book market share, Tan said, print publishers need not worry too much as figures for the first half of 2013 showed a slowdown in the world's largest e-book market -- the United States. Experts have forecast that e-books will account for no more than 30 percent of the total U.S. book market over the next two to three years, she said, noting that the current figure is 25-30 percent. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-10-18 05:50 GMT+08:00