US trade e-book sales trends

In a blog post published ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Publishing Perspectives explores sources of data on the e-book marketplace in the US.  Two major sources are the BookStats project (run by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group) and StatShot, which collates actual revenues reported to AAP by a growing list of participating publishers.

2012 trends

  • Slowdown in e-book growth - e-book growth is no longer doubling year on year - 2012 should see growth rates of approximately 33%
  • Adult e-book sales increase slowing down (they drove much of the increase in e-book sales between 2010 and 2011).  The latest figures suggest a ‘modest increase' of 27%
  • Emergence of a digital children's market - children's e-book sales have gained much more
  • Total trade e-book revenues have comprised 23% of sales for the first four months of 2012
    • 27% of the adult trade market
    • 13% of the children's market
Individual publisher reports for first half of 2012
  • Simon & Schuster - digital content responsible for 23% of worldwide sales
  • Penguin - e-books  account for 19% of total sales (30% of US sales; 15% of UK sales)
  • Harlequin - digital accounts for 20.5% of sales
  • Hachette Book Group - e-books account for 27% of US revenues and 23% of UK sales