That’s the title of an article in Shelf Awareness:
As the number of available e-book titles continues to increase and prices fall, Russians are exhibiting an “increasing affinity for reading on screens, [but] market players caution that it will be a long time before e-books replace printed titles,” Moscow Times reported, noting that the “size of the Russian e-book market is currently $2.2 million, with e-books accounting for less than 1% of total book sales.”
E-book prices on LitRes, the market leader in Russian e-book sales, range from 10 rubles (33 cents) for Tolstoy’s novel Childhood to 250 rubles ($8.50) for the Russian translation of Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. RBK Research estimates that in a “best-case scenario, e-books’ share of the Russian book market could hit 30% by 2015,” Moscow Times wrote.
Mikhail Osin, director of the digital sales department for Ozon.ru–which has been called “Russia’s Amazon”–said, “Sales of e-books are rising at a fast rate, and this trend will continue in the future…. new technologies are occupying a segment of the market, which of course is a concern to publishers, making them adapt their business model and even switch to the production of electronic books.” Ozon.ru had a 40% increase in e-book sales in 2011, with e-reader purchases rising 250%.
Over the past two years, prices for e-reading devices have dropped about 30%. Yevgeny Militsa, director of e-reader retailer PocketBook Russia–whose e-readers range in price from 3,400 rubles ($115) to 15,000 rubles ($507)–said his company sold approximately 400,000 devices in 2011, which doubled 2010 sales. He expects the market to grow another 50% in 2012.
And yet, as Alexander Bobrowski of LitRes observed: “For many Russians, the value of a book still lies in its tangibility. For this reason paper still prevails.”
[Via Shelf Awareness]
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The major problem facing authors and publishers in Russia is the completely unrestricted piracy of books. There can be no successful publishing future in Russia for either authors or publishers unless a national effort is made to stamp out piracy. The scale of piracy in Russia is daunting. The scale of theft of IP is only matched by that of China.
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