In the first nine months of the year ebook sales have declined 3.9% and generated over $770.9 million dollars. People are still buying the digital format of course, but the real money is with hardcover and paperback novels. The hardback format saw an increase of $1.9 billion dollars (6.2%) over 2017 and mass market and paperback books made $1,976.0 billion dollars (2.2%) from last year.
Meanwhile audiobook sales continue double digit growth and remains the fastest growing segment in digital publishing. Single audiobook sales accounted for $336 million dollars and grew 37.4% over the first nine months of 2017.
- For the first three quarters of the year, trade publishers’ revenues were up by $228.3 million (+4.4%) compared to the same period in 2017. The gains are led by increased revenue in Adult Books (also +4.4%), the book publishing industry’s largest category.
- Publishers revenue for Children’s and Young Adult Books (+3.5%) and Religious Presses (+7.6%) also increased.
- For both the month of September and the year-to-date, trade books saw strong increases in downloaded audio and hardback books
- The increased revenue in trade books was offset by decreases in the education and scholarly publishing sectors, with revenue in all categories declining for the first three quarters of 2018 compared to 2017. Overall publisher revenue was down by -1.4% for all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses).
Now you might be thinking to yourself, why do ebook sales continue to fall? All of the reported sales are from the Association of American Publishers, so all figures are for the United States market and only from publishing companies, such as small/medium and large presses. Indie author books are normally not included.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.