Simon & Schuster is experiencing massive growth with e-books and audiobooks, more than any other publisher.
Digital revenues represented 31% of S&S’s total revenues for the first quarter of 2015. S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy said that while sales of e-books rose by one percentage point in the quarter, sales of digital audio had a huge quarter driven by sales of both new and backlist books. She also noted that with the rise in e-book sales in the quarter, e-books accounted for about 26.3% of all revenue, higher than any share the format represented in 2014.
Meanwhile at HarperCollins digital only accounts for 22% of their revenue, down 3%. Other publishers such as Penguin/Random House did not mention e-books during their recent quarterly earnings, which makes me worried.
Digital books and audiobooks seemed to have plateaued and we ware certainly not seeing the explosive growth from only a few years ago. Basically the people who want to read e-books already are and the people who aren’t, are still buying print. There is little crossover between the two book types and this trend will continue into the foreseeable future.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.