Vigilant investors in Turkey's untouched eBooks market have vast opportunities to invest in the country's $2.5 billion publishing sector.
According to data compiled from the Turkish Publishers Association's (TPA) website, a share in eBooks increased by over 100 percent from 2011 to 2012 and the trend is expected to continue in the coming years.
The US leads the world amidst the explosive growth of the eBook market in recent years. Statistics from the Association of American Publishers in June 2012 found that eBook titles have taken over hardcovers in terms of revenue, and took 24 percent of the sales with $766.8 million in the first half of 2013. Interestingly, 29 percent of readers use smartphones for reading and 23 percent use tablet computers.
The current eBooks market share in Turkey is comparable to that of the US in 2007. In smartphone sales, Turkey holds the 6th spot in Europe and tablet sales have overtaken laptops in July 2013. With the recent increase in the sale of so many devices, it opens up the market for people interested in e-content on these devices.
A recent Turkish government initiative in announcing tenders for technology giants like Apple to supply compulsory education students (roughly 15 million) a tablet for educational purposes can be seen as an encouraging factor for this new investment opportunity. As part of this project so far three tenders were won by General Mobile, Turkish electronics companies Vestel and Telpa Telekom, respectively. Telpa Telekom won the tender with a proposal of $187 million for 675 thousands tablets.
However, it appears that the most hampering factor in eBook sales for Turkey is the shortage of qualified content in this department.
The Chairman of the Turkish Publishers Association (TPA) Metin Celal Zeynioglu said "Since the quantity of titles is very low, sales are very low too. Share of eBooks is 0.7 percent in the overall publishing sector."
According to a report released by TPA in 2012 only 2,928 eBook titles were published out of a total bookpublication of 42,626.
With so many encouraging factors, the sector holds big opportunities in Turkey once the issue of the shortage of titles is addressed.