Home » Big Publishing, Book Signings, Ebook/Ereader Growth » Adult fiction ebooks outsold hardcovers in 2011

Adult fiction ebooks outsold hardcovers in 2011

19 July 2012

More on the latest sales reports released by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group from Reuters:

Net sales of e-books jumped to 15 percent of the market in 2011 from 6 percent in 2010, according to a report by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group. The groups compiled data provided by nearly 2,000 publishers.

Total overall U.S. book market sales declined 2.5 percent to $27.2 billion in 2011 from $27.9 billion in 2010, the report said.

While ebooks increased in strength, bringing in more than $2 billion in 2011, the majority of publishers’ revenue still came from print books, with $11.1 billion in 2011.

. . . .

“Ebooks have demonstrated unprecedented acceptance among readers but the various print formats remain dynamic as well, showing that consumers want options,” Vlahos said.

. . . .

[B]rick-and-mortar retail was still the biggest sales channel for publishers, representing 31.5 percent of total net dollars. However that was down 12.6 percent from 2010.

As a comparison, online retailers represented 13 percent of total net dollars, but grew 35 percent from the year before.

Link to the rest at Reuters and thanks to Eric for the tip.

Big Publishing, Book Signings, Ebook/Ereader Growth

6 Comments to “Adult fiction ebooks outsold hardcovers in 2011”

  1. You can’t stop progress.

  2. As best I can tell, this data doesn’t include any information from self-publishers. I really wonder how it would change if it did.

    • That’s a really good point.

    • It also gives all its sales figures in dollar terms, not in volume terms. Since the average price of ebooks is much lower than that of hardcovers, unit sales of ebooks must have greatly exceeded those of hardcovers. This is something that I should have liked to see data on, and I think many other people would, too.

      Instead, Reuters follows the unfortunately common journalistic practice of giving only a few isolated figures, meaningless or misleading in themselves, and withholding the data that would give those figures a meaningful context.

      We see this kind of thing all the time. Journalists who don’t like Apple give market-share figures in units, not dollars, which minimizes Apple’s presence in the market because it generally charges higher prices than its competitors. Journalists who don’t like ebooks can be expected to give market-share figures in dollars, not units, for the same reason. A balanced view of either story would surely include both sets of numbers. But so it goes. I wish I could say that I had not learnt to expect such shoddy work from journalists, and particularly from the anonymous creatures who supply the major wire services.

      • Every news organization is just reprinting the press release from BookStats. The choice of what data to release was theirs. If any news org thought that anyone outside the industry cared, they would buy the whole report and do some digging. But nobody cares.

  3. Favorite, established authors are going this route too, notably people such as

    Wilbur Smith

    Jack Elgos

    Andy McNab

    If these guys are doing it I can’t see any problem.

    Lilly NYC

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