In the first six months of 2017 e-book sales have more or less stabilized. The publishing industry generated $555.7 million in sales, down $26.8 million from the same period last year. Audiobooks continue to be be financially lucrative, but they have a long way to go before they make the type of money that e-books do. Downloaded audio had $157.7 million in sales, up $38.2 million or 32.0%.
Although e-book sales are no longer declining in double digit figures for the past year, print sales continue to soar. This has been a boon for bookstores all over the United States, especially indie shops. According to the American Booksellers Association, independent bookstores are thriving — with a 25% increase in ABA membership since 2009. Bookstore sales are up 6.1% since January 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.
- By Category: In the first half of 2017, compared to the first half of 2016, trade sales were $3.27 billion – up by $95.8 million (3.0%)
- Adult Books had $2.22 billion in sales, up $66.7 million (3.1%)
- Childrens/YA Books had $852.4 million in sales, up $36.8 million (4.5%)
- Religious Presses had $197.0 million in sales, down by $7.7 million (-3.8%)
- By Format: In the first half of 2017 vs. 2016
- Paperback/Mass Market books had $1.27 billion in sales, down $23.6 million (-1.8%)
- Hardback books had $1.11 billion in sales, up $98.7 million (9.7%)
- eBooks had $555.7 million in sales, down $26.8 million (-4.6%)
- Downloaded audio had $157.7 million in sales, up $38.2 million (32.0%)
- Other formats (including board books, physical audio) had $181.8 million in sales, up $9.4 million (5.4%)
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.