Do film adaptations boost enhanced e-book sales?

Jixuan Dong, current MA Publishing student, uses her newsflash to consider a recent Publishers Weekly story on film adaptations and enhanced e-books and the impact this is having on the bookselling market.

For the first three weeks of 2015, Publishers Weekly reports that the enhanced e-book of Chris Kyle’s memoir, American Sniper, has rocketed onto Apple’s iBooks bestseller list, consistently beating the title’s standard e-book. This is very unusual for e-books. Typically, sales of enhanced e-books, which incorporate audio-visual features, have fallen short of those enjoyed by their standard e-cousins.

The article asks whether American Sniper’s enhanced e-book success is a one-off, or whether this could suggest a new trend where TV and film adaptations might be the answer to capitalising on the potential of the enhanced format.

The article quotes Sharyn Rosenblum, senior director of media relations at HarperCollins, as saying:

‘With the explosion of book sales now that the movie is out and has become a blockbuster, it makes perfect sense that the e-book would be equally in demand again.’


Noting the success of other publishers in exploiting the same film/TV/enhanced ebook connection, the article reports in particular on the fact that Hachette imprint, Grand Central, has released two such products related to novels and filmic adaptations of the romance writer, Nicholas Sparks, and had the release dates coincide, which they believe will bring them great success.

In terms of my own opinion on this story, I can see that having film adaptations and movie tie-ins set up to work together with enhanced e-books is a win-win idea for both film producers and publishers, effectively taking one piece of content and making it available in different formats. I would be surprised if this didn’t result in a considerable boost for sales of both the content itself and for a whole series of related products.

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