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Association of American Publishers: Children’s Ebooks up ‘Only’ 50%, Adult 34%

4 December 2012

From Digital Book World:

Ebook growth continued to slow slightly across the book trade in August as children’s ebooks retreated from an early year surge that saw the segment up in triple digits. Children’s ebook sales only grew by about 50% in August; ebooks sales for adult trade books was up 34%, according to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers.

Despite the slowdown, year-to-date growth numbers for children’s ebooks remain strong at 196% to $177 million. Adult trade ebooks are up 37% for the year to $858 million. Through August, adult ebooks comprise 21% of all adult trade revenues.

Link to the rest at Digital Book World

Big Publishing, Ebooks

7 Comments to “Association of American Publishers: Children’s Ebooks up ‘Only’ 50%, Adult 34%”

  1. *snort*

    “Only” is hardly the word I’d use to describe the growth. As an author of MG and Tween books, this is very good news!

  2. What Danyelle said. Also, once again, these numbers don’t include indie authors at all.

    • And there you have it. As Mira points out, they are missing the indie sales.

      It’s possible that the publishers are getting an increasingly smaller slice of a growing eBook pie and they aren’t realizing it.

      They may well look at the slowing penetration and assume that it matches their earlier projections that the shift to eBooks would stabilize.

      Given the huge price differential for eBooks, I would be surprised to hear that growth in this area isn’t favoring indies.

      As long as the big guys keep thinking the electronic version costs as much to produce as a paperback, their pricing will drive customers away.

    • Well, considering it’s the American Association of Publishers, I’m not surprised. 😉

      However, that does mean that the numbers are going to be off for those that are tracking the growth in electronic kidlit as a big picture thing and not accurately reflect the current percentage of kids reading ebooks.

  3. Just a bit of fun with the way numbers work.
    5 years ago you only sold 10 books.
    4 years ago you sold 20 books. Your sales were up 100%.
    3 years ago you sold 100 books. Your sales were up 500%.
    2 years ago you sold 400 books. Your sales were up 300%.
    Last year you sold 1,000 books. Your sales were up 150%.
    This year you sold 1,500 books. Your sales were up 50%.

    Woe is you, right? Your sales only went up 50% this year, things must really be fading out. Funny thing is, that last 50% was worth almost as much as your first 4 years combined. Not to mention it was on top of what you made last year. Now if you were to compare you first year (10) with your last year (1,500) over a six year period, the gain was something like a 14,900% increase.

    Next year, if your sales are only up 20% year over year… that would be 300 more books sold or 1,800 books total.

    Ebooks gained a lot of their momentum in the first few years. True, they were filling a hole people hadn’t realized was there. Once the number of books gets massive, it’s hard to get a large % gain in year over year.

    If last years Children’s ebooks had ‘officially’ sold 5 Million books, that “only 50%” means they would have sold only 7.5 Million this year. That kind of gain is nothing to scoff at.

    Now I must point out all my above numbers were pulled out of a hat or used for simplicity. The math behind them should still be sound.

    By those kind of numbers, I wouldn’t think that ebooks are leveling out quite as quickly as people might think. A 50% gain, is 150% of last year.
    -I wish my paycheck would do that.

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