In an e-book industry in which books are priced at hundreds of dollars, there is an increasing recognition that ebooks are a viable way to reach the millions of people who would not otherwise be able to access books.
In Israel, a country where ebooks have been a rarity since the dawn of the digital age, this has meant an increase in ebooks sales, which now account for a larger share of ebooks’ total revenue than print books.
For example, in the first quarter of 2017, there were more than 3.3 million ebooks in print in Israel, according to figures published in the Jerusalem Post by the Israeli Booksellers Association (IBSA), while in the same period in 2016 there were only 2.5 million.
While there are certainly many reasons why this is happening, there are also many reasons for the rise in the market for ebooks, according with the Israeli publisher IAC.
“We know that eBooks are very important to Israeli publishers,” said IAC president Eliyahu Beshara.
“They’re important for us to know what we’re doing and they’re important to the communities that have a direct interest in our work.”
In the meantime, Besharas said the growing interest in eBooks in Israel has allowed Israeli publishers to make more money.
“The increase in book sales has brought the profits in Israel to a new level,” Besharan said.
“With the growing popularity of eBooks, we’ve been able to invest in a lot of books that we weren’t able to spend the money on previously.
We have to make the right decisions now.”
While Besharam believes that Israel’s digital publishing boom will continue for the foreseeable future, there have been some recent signs that e-books are not as popular as they once were.
In January, for example, Israel’s National Library Authority (NLA) announced that the number of e-readers had reached 1.5 percent of its online library.
“This was a result of the increasing number of people with smartphones,” said NLA CEO Yossi Dahan.
“When we began, the number was about 500.
Today, it’s close to 100,000.
That’s a huge change, especially for a country like Israel.”
In addition to this, in 2017, Israeli publishers began a program called “Book for Sale” where publishers sell ebooks for a discounted price.
The program has been expanded in 2018 to include all book types, from fiction to nonfiction, and has already yielded some results, with more than 5,000 ebooks now sold.
“Nowadays, when we talk about a book for sale, we think of an average price and the number and quality of the books that are being sold,” Dahan said.
It’s no surprise, then, that there have also been some controversies regarding the e-reader.
For instance, in July, Israel Police Chief Shimon Mizrahi told the Israel Bar Association that some e-reading devices that were designed to allow for more rapid reading, such as a Kindle and a Palm, could potentially “cause problems with people with visual impairment,” the country’s largest professional association, the Israeli Bar Association said in a statement.
“These devices can create distractions for people who are visually impaired,” it added.
In response, Mizrai said he would take steps to ban these devices.
However, the head of the Israeli Board of Booksells, Shlomo Korn, told Haaretz in January that he has “no problem with the use of eReading devices,” but noted that “the use of devices that are not intended to be used in this manner should be regulated.”
On top of this, the government in May ordered e-stores in the country to stop selling ebooks.
“It is a real problem,” Bensouda said of the banning of eReaders.
“I hope that we will see more changes in this area.”
Bensoula also pointed out that the country is not alone in its e-favoritism.
“In 2016, Israel recorded the lowest percentage of people using tablets in the world.
It is no coincidence that this is a year that eReads are the fastest-growing form of reading,” he said.
The trend has also been accompanied by a decrease in the number, size and quality, on average, of eText books sold.
Bensounas added that it is a “very serious problem” that “there are fewer and fewer eBooks being published in Israel.”
The latest statistics, from the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Culture, reveal that only 6.6 percent of the countrys eBooks have been published since January 2018.
While the number may have decreased, it is still higher than the 8.3 percent recorded in the past year.
“At the same time, the volume