Hachette’s August e-book bump appeared to come as a surprise to some. The group reported earlier today that August was a “record-breaking month” in e-books for Hachette UK, with digital sales up 80% year-on-year.
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Hachette UK also told us that e-book sales accounted for 30% of the adult trade market in the UK in the third quarter, up 10 percentage points on last year. That represents growth of about a third.
Both figures suggest what has been well reported for most of this year–that, statistically speaking, the rate of e-book growth is slowing down, even if growth of 30% remains a strong compensatory number.
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E-book growth has largely sustained trade publishers during the latter years of the big recession, and even if they do now, as some say, ‘plateau’, profit margins may continue to grow as publishers learn to better manage their inventories and working capital across the rest of their business.
Whatever the look of it, digital is more than just a growth curve. It is a complete re-wiring of the system. In this context the word ‘plateau’ is not inaccurate, but if it is taken to mean everything stops moving or that we are reaching a stable period, it is an unhelpful term. Nothing stops from this point onwards.
Link to the rest at FutureBook