Total revenues across for the US publishing industry for June 2021 were essentially flat, with an increase of 0.2% as compared to June 2020, coming in at $1.2 billion. Year to date revenues were up 18.1%, at $6.3 billion for the first six months of the year. Trade sales were down 8.0% in June, coming in at $638.5 million, but up 17.0% year to date, with $4.1 billion in revenue. Hardback revenues were down 10.2%, coming in at $203.1 million; Paperbacks were down 8.3%, with $225.2 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 26.0% to $18.2 million; and Board Books were up 13.3%, with $14.3 million in revenue.
Digital book revenues have declined for the third month in a row. They were down 19.9% for the month as compared to June of 2020 for a total of $87.7 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 18.5% for June, coming in at $64.8 million in revenue. Physical Audio was down 7.9% coming in at $1.7 million.
Year to date ebook revenues were down 0.3% as compared to the first six months of 2020 for a total of $542.8 million. The Downloaded Audio format was up 18.4%, coming in at $378.5 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 8.0% coming in at $10.7 million.
I believe one of the big reasons why ebook sales are declining is that it is the summer time and people are spending more times outdoors. Audiobook sales continue to climb because people are listening to them during the commute, working out, walking the dog or taking a daily constitutional.
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.