The AAP reported that the book market as a whole was up nearly 6% in August 2013 ($633.5 million from $598.4 million), and it was also down 4.8% for the January to August period ($4.26 billion from $4.47 billion).
The combined digital sales (audiobook and ebook) for the first 8 months of 2013 totaled $882.8 million, down 3.5% from $915 million during that period last year. In the adult segment, downloadable audiobooks were up 14.4% in the first 8 months of 2013 while ebooks increased by 4.8%. Religious ebooks were up 2.6%, while kid’s ebooks dropped by 40%.
The ebook segments are just beginning to get out of the shadow of last year’s sales, with YA ebook sales slowly recovering to where they were last year. Digital sales (ebook plus audiobook) for August 2013 alone totaled $144.4 million,
up about one and a third percent from August 2013.
Update: Publisher’s Lunch has caught me in a math error. The August figures show that the total digital sales were down 1.7%, not up. (My mistake was that I accidentally swapped the August 2012 figure with the August 2013 figure, and thus the ratio was inverted.)
The YA ebook segment was down 7.6% ($13.3 million from $14.4 million), while religious ebooks were up 4.9% ($4.9 million from $4.7 million). Curiously enough, adult ebook sales broke with their previous trend of steady growth and took a dip in August; they were down 2.9% ($114.8 million from $118.2 million).
Adult audiobooks, on the other hand, were up 18.3% ($11.4 million from $9.6 million). Along with religious ebooks, this was one of only 2 digital segments that increased in August.
Like we have seen in previous reports, last year’s release of The Hunger Games movie resulted in a volume of ebook and paper book sales that could not be repeated in 2013. But the shadow also appears to be wearing thin, so with luck in the next few months we should have a better idea of whether the market is growing, shrinking, or holding steady.
Or rather we will know how well the 1195 publishers who share data with the AAP are doing; the above data does not reflect the entire market.
P.S. As always, here are the charts from the AAP.