Every fourth German reads books in digital form. That’s the result of a survey by the German trade association Bitkom where about 2500 people have contributed. The share of the eBook-readers has remained pretty much constant compared to the previous year. But around 35 percent of those not yet reading e-books can imagine to do so in the future.
The most important reading device is the laptop (41 Prozent), followed by the smartphone (38 Prozent). E-Readers are used by a third of the e-book-users. A fifth still uses a traditional computer or a tablet. In 2015, around 570.000 E-Readers will be sold in Germany according to Bitkom, which is a 25 percent decline.
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of users buys new e-books in online shops. Also, 13 percent are buying directly from authors. Favourite genre is, of course, fiction, especially with women (83 percent versus 75 percent for men). With non-fiction it’s the other way around: Men are leading with 44 versus 35 percent.
E-Book lending models are increasingly important. Half of e-book-readers already uses them! Public libraries are leading here with 32 percent, which is a sharp increase from 25 percent in 2014 and 17 percent in 2013. Commercial offers (Kindle Unlimited, Skoobe…) have a share of 19 percent (up from 16 percent).
A fifth of the e-book users told Bitkom that they like to read books by self published authors. That’s about 4 million Germans. Three quarters answered “don’t know” – which actually is a good sign as that means they cannot distinguish a good book by a publisher from a good book by an indie.