Digital Book sales in the United States selling like hotcakes. In January 2021, ebook revenues were up 21.0% for the month as compared to January of 2020 for a total of $91.6 million. Digital audiobook sales also increased by 17.6% and generated $59.1 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 21.8% coming in at $2.0 million.
How good were ebook sales last year, during the pandemic? The format overall was up 15.6% for all of 2020, and generated $1.1 billion. For calendar 2020 digital audiobooks was up 16.5% as compared to 2019, with a total of $675.6 million for the year. Physical Audio was down 26.3%, with $25.8 million in revenue.
Many bookstores continue to be closed, although some chains like Barnes and Noble are starting to reopen. This has not stopped people shopping at retail locations, but most importantly, are buying books online. In January 2021, hardback revenues were up 25.5%, coming in at $244.2 million; Paperbacks were up 17.9%, with $227.5 million in revenue; Mass Market materials were up 39.9% to $19.5 million.
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.