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Talk: Art Books and eBooks – A Difficult Conversation?

First published on http://ikono.org.

Even as scholarly publishing in most disciplines makes the transition from print to digital, art ebooks have encountered hurdles in providing the same measure of reward to publishers, libraries and researchers. Issues of format, content, pricing, selection and user-friendliness persist. Are these hurdles real or imaginary? Are they truly specific to art publishing? If real, what prospects are there to solve these problems—and where will they come from?

Publishers Weekly reports in it’s latest issue that “E-books accounted for 22% of all book spending in the second quarter of 2012, only a one percentage point gain from the first quarter of the year, but up from 14% in the comparable period in 2011, according to new figures from Bowker Market Research. In the year-to-year comparison, the hardcover and trade paperback segments both lost two percentage points each to e-books, while mass market paperbacks’ share fell from 15% in the second quarter of 2011 to 12% in this year’s second period.”

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