US Ebook sales remain flat in October

The AAP have released their report on book sales in the US market for October 2010.  I don’t have a opy yet, but GalleyCat uploaded one to Scribd (thanks, Jason).

Ebook sales for October were $40.7 million, which is only slightly different from sales in September, August, and July. I’ve said it before, so I won’t bore you with a repetition. But sales have plateaued.

BTW, do you remember that chart I made a few weeks ago? One prediction I made was that the NC would cause a jump in sales.  It didn’t, but it also turned out not to be as popular as anticipated.

AAP Reports October Book Sales

Nate Hoffelder

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Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Doug8 December, 2010

    Since NOOKcolor wasn’t available until the middle of November, I don’t see how it could have affected October sales. We’ll see what happens with November and December numbers.

    Even more interesting will be January numbers. The past couple of years, January has run about double the previous month, with sales dropping back a bit in February (15-20%). But we’ll have to wait ’til March for January numbers.

    1. Nate the great8 December, 2010

      You’re right. I think I have my dates messed up.

  2. gous8 December, 2010

    The fawning piece on Len Riggio in PW does have one interesting tidbit:
    ” B&N is manufacturing Nookcolors at a rate of 18,000 per day and is loading up a 747 every four to five days to bring devices to the U.S. from China”

  3. Alexander Inglis8 December, 2010

    Category – Sales in $ – rate vs Oct 2009
    Adult Hardcover – $243 million – 93%
    Adult Paper – $115 million – 98%
    Adult Mass – $60 million – 86%
    eBook – $41 million – 210%

    eBook continue on track for 9% of sales

    What isn’t clear is whether the data is reliable or reflective of what we think it is reflective of. It is awfully hard to believe that eBook sales have been flat at $40 million for four months when the number of devices, dedicated ereaders and peripheral ones (like the iPad) have sold, literally, in the millions in that time frame.

    The 1 million new Kindle owners — just to pick a number — must have bought *something* in those four months — and it’s niot hard to think they might buy $10/month. That audience alone would represent 25% of the reported sales. And then there are all the new Kobo, Sony and Nook players in fresh hands — presumably they bought something, too. Not to mention about 1 million new iPad owners a month. And then there is the installed base of dedciated ereader users — another 3 or 4 million?

    It would be helpful if we could see something on unit salees, rather than dollar volume.

    1. Nate the great8 December, 2010

      Wouldn’t this suggest that device sales have little to do with ebook sales?

      1. Zigwalski9 December, 2010

        It would more likely be that sellers are not reporting their sales.

  4. Fbone8 December, 2010

    The AAP may be missing data from a few large publishers. They do say “most” of the large pubs are included but not all.

    Also, it’s only domestic sales. Many new ereader owners live in other locales. It’s possible even Canadian sales aren’t included even though they are usually able to purchase from US sources.

  5. Zigwalski8 December, 2010

    Being in business myself, you do not compare your sales figures with previous months to show how well you are doing but from the previous year. E Book sales are double from the previous year so that shows tremendous growth.

    I would be interested to know if historically, October is a slow book month in general. One would think that big books being released would wait for November to have better holiday numbers. I know the new Stephen King book was and the George Bush book were released in November.

    Also, coming down from the summer months, people may just not read as much in October.

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