The Dutch book market was down 4.5% last quarter when compared to the same period in 2012, and it was down 20% from reported sales in the first quarter of 2010. The fiction segment saw a drop of 3.9%, while sales of informative non-fiction dropped by a mere 3 tenths of a percent.
But in spite of the general drop in sales the report wasn't entirely bad. Children's books rose by 1.7% in the first quarter, and leisure non-fiction increased by 3.3%. And sales of ebooks also increased, though they are a negligible part of the market. According to GfK, Dutch ebook sales grew by 45% last quarter. They now make up 3.9% of the overall Dutch book market, with more than 330,000 units sold.
That is a relatively tiny percentage, and not just when compared to the US book market where ebooks are now estimated to make up over 20% of sales. 3.9% is small even compared to the UK book market, where ebooks accounted for an estimated 13% of sales in 2012.
Curiously enough, the Dutch ebook market is growing at about the same rate as the US ebook market, and that raises a question. Has the growth in Dutch ebook sales already slowed down (like in the US) or is it still getting ready to explode?