The Growth of Ebooks in the US

History and Lessons Learned

Since we know that so much of the global digital interest today is focused on what has happened in the United States, we’re starting off our program explaining exactly that. We feature a panel of experienced digital directors who dealt with it all, from what first seemed like a very long period during which ebooks were seen as a nuisance cost with inconsequential revenue, through the series of explosive growth catalysts: first Kindle, then iPhone and other smart phones, then Nook, then iPad/iBookstore and agency pricing, and now Google.

Peter Balis of John Wiley and Sons, Nina von Moltke of Random House, and Evan Schnittman, now of Bloomsbury but working with Oxford University Press through most of this period, have been in the game since ebooks were a questionable backwater and have seen the changes since. Now ebooks are the biggest growth segment at their companies. Their observations about what happened, why it happened, and how their companies and others reacted to signs of growth contain important lessons for the publishers in the rest of the world, most of whom are where the US was in 2005, superintending an ebook market that is still well short of 1% of their total revenue.


Jack Perry
Owner, 38enso Publishing Services

Jack W Perry has been in book-selling and publishing for more than 20 years and most recently started 38enso Publishing Services. He advises and consults publishers on a number of issues with a specific focus on digital strategy.Clients include Open Road; ESPN Books; Perseus; Abrams; Sideways; Turner; and Shambhala.


Peter Balis
Director, Digital Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, John Wiley & Sons

Peter Balis is responsible for the account management, sales, distribution and business development of digital content for Wiley, which includes ebooks, enhanced products and mobile applications. Additionally, he is the co-chair of the AAP’s Digital Issues Working Group and teaches an advanced seminar at NYU’s Graduate Publishing Program.

Evan Schnittman
Global Managing Director of Sales & Marketing, Bloomsbury Publishing

Evan Schnittman is Managing Director Group Sales and Marketing, Print and Digital, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.  He splits his time equally between Bloomsbury’s London and New York offices and is in charge of all sales, marketing, publicity, rights and technology across Bloomsbury’s group companies.

Evan is widely known in the industry as a thought leader – and is widely sought out to speak and write on the key issues facing content companies in a digital world.

Nina von Moltke
VP, Digital Publishing Development, Random House

Nina is overseeing the Digital Publishing Development Group at Random House Inc. Her team is comprised of the corporate digital product development teams that are focused on creating and bringing to market new digital experiences beyond the narrative text-based ebook formats as well as the Audio Group, Living Language, Reference, and Fodor’s Travel Guides – business lines that already derive a large part of their revenue from digital formats.