US eBook Sales Were Up in the First Half of 2012

The American Association of Publishers has taken a moment away from their work in  denouncing the Georgia State decision and spreading FUD about the onging Kirtsaeng v. Wiley case to bring us some news today about the US book market.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Amazon has not succeeded in killing off the publishing industry – not in the first half of 2012, at least. Sales are up in a number of categories.

Children’s books sales are up across the board, with increases ranging from 12% to 37% for paper books and 250% for children’s ebooks. For adult books, however, the results were mixed. Hardback and paperback held their own when compared to the first 6 months of 2011, showing about a 2% increase. eBooks and audiobooks each did quite well , with the AAP reporting a 32% and 34% increase, respectively.

The one downside was mass market paperbacks, which reportedly saw a 20% drop in sales. I suspect much of that was replaced by ebook sales, which saw a much larger increase than the $50 million lost in the mass market category.

image by Brett Jordan

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.


  1. Fbone15 October, 2012

    Harry Potter and 50 Shades effect?

  2. Peter16 October, 2012

    Why would anyone be surprised that paper books are bouncing back?

    Consumers have had ebooks crammed down their throats for five years. Most of us here prefer them, but there are a lot of people who’ve steadfastly insisted they prefer paper.

    They weren’t lying, and there’s nothing stopping them from exer

    1. Peter16 October, 2012

      That was weird-

      There’s nothing stopping them from using paper books if that’s what they want.

      So it bounces back.


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