Ebook Sales now 21% of Hachette Revenue

The French media conglomerate  Lagardere released some details from their quarterly report today, and the figures for the publishing division might shock you. When compared to 2010 , sales were down 5% last quarter at Lagardere Publishing (down to 601 million euros), with the US and UK markets seeing an even steeper drop (8% and 10%).

The drop at Hachette, the US sub, is being blamed on cheaper ebooks  and the death of Borders.  Lagardere  also reported that when Stephenie Meyer’s book were excluded from the accounting, sales were actually up  a fraction of a percent.Even so, ebook sales were still up at Hachette, and they now account for 21% of revenue for the first 3 quarters, and that’s up from 9% revenue last year.

While that might look astounding, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Our last report from Lagardere indicated that ebooks accounted for 20% of Hachette’s revenue in the first half of this year. Today’s news is still a sizable increase, yes, but not an earth shattering kaboom.

But there is a bit of news that odes qualify as earth shattering. US ebook sales are great, but in the UK they account for 9% of revenue. Given that the UK market is significantly less well developed than the US market, 9% is a surprising chunk of change.

Just to put these numbers into perspective, Wiley reported that ebook sales nearly tripled last quarter, Simon & Schuster reported ebooks at 17% of revenue, and Penguin reporting a doubling in ebook sales recently.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor 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.


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  2. BI Research Express 11/9/2011 | Athens Report9 November, 2011

    […] E-books made up 21% of publisher Hachette’s revenue so far this year, according to new figures… Other major publishers continue to report huge growth in ebook sales and revenue, too: the future of publishing is here. […]

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