Digital book sales in the United States continue to soar in February 2021. Ebook revenues were up 19.8% for the month as compared to February of 2020 for a total of $99.3 million. Digital Audiobooks are up 27.8% for February, coming in at $71.7 million in revenue. Physical Audiobooks was down 20.9% coming in at $1.2 million.
For the first two months of 2021, eBook revenues were up 20.4% as compared to the first two months of 2020 for a total of $191.0 million. Digital audiobooks are up 23.7%, generating $131.6 million in revenue. Physical Audiobooks was up 1.1% coming in at $3.2 million.
In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of February, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 26.9%, coming in at $232.8 million; Paperbacks were up 9.2%, with $186.3 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 35.7% to $21.7 million; and Board Books were up 3.2%, with $12.4 million in revenue. Year to date, Hardback revenues were up 26.2%, coming in at $477.0 million; Paperbacks were up 14.1%, with $413.9 million in revenue; Mass Market was up 37.6% to $41.2 million; and Board Books were down 2.6%, with $29.6 million in revenue.
I think it is interesting that all online retailers are continuing to see robust ebook sales for the first two months of 2021 and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Partly, this could be still attributed to many physical bookstores continuing to be closed, due to the pandemic and it is easier to buy digital. Still, people are still buying physical books from the indie bookstores, chains and other distribution channels such as Walmart.
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.