Last Friday, October 9th marked the end of the Liber 2015 book fair. Red Points participated quite actively with a space in the digital area, where attendants to the event were able to get first-hand information regarding the technological novelties and solutions brought forward in order to face the great piracy problems that are directly affecting digital sales, especially as regards the concerns arising for large titles and publishing companies before making the shift from physical to digital format. In addition to this, Red Points offered two lectures on “Digital solutions to fight book piracy”. These included an example of how the digital purchase of a particular title can be affected when it competes against other pirated copies.
Without a doubt, the big piece of news in the publishing sector was the 0,6% billing increase after five consecutive years of decline. These signs seem to indicate a sector recovery, with a total turnover in 2014 of 2.196 billion euros.
The turnover for digital books in Spain had the fastest rise in history: 110 million euros, an increase of 37.3% in comparison to to 2013. This amount already represents 5% of the sector’s total sales.
In a traditionally physical sector that is highly prejudiced against the digital format, there are still many concerns and reflections that we were able to share and debate in person at this Liber 2015. Without a doubt, the greatest problem of this transformation and cohabitation of physical and digital books is piracy. Everyone knows how difficult it is to compete selling digital products in proprietary platforms or third-party platforms such as Amazon when a Google search will show related searches that suggest downloading the same title in .pdf or .epub formats, or watching it in streaming media at no cost.
The new illegal formats are of such high quality that there are no differences between them and the paid versions. This problem, which keeps the sector busy and concerned, has not come up with a legal and efficient response to the conflict. To quote the words of Rosalina Díaz, Vice President of the Spanish Editors’ Guild, “The best way to help us grow is to eliminate piracy. From the moment something is reported on a website until action is taken, 400 days could go by, because everything goes very slowly. We need forceful actions.” We can see the sector’s concerns and the lack of efficient, quick and affordable solutions for a sector that has been greatly punished by the economic crisis.
Tomorrow we will tell you the solution to this challenge!