The details were released at the at the Nielsen Books & Consumers Conference on Wednesday, and according to Nielsen researcher Steve Bohme the UK ebook market reached £300
£80 million in 2013. eBooks accounted for about 1 in 4 book purchases last year, but they also represented a far smaller share of the market than one might assume.
Like the US, paper books still dominate the UK book market, with an estimated £2.2 billion spent on them in 2013. This is about a 4% drop in sales from 2012, which had two blockbuster releases (Hunger Games and 50 Shades).
Update: There were a number of errors in the source article in The Bookseller. The Uk ebook market was actually worth £300 million, with an estimated 80 million units sold.
Nielsen’s stats peg the UK ebook market at 3.5% of the overall UK book market. This would seem to be rather low to me, given that ebooks accounted for 25% of unit sales, but I suppose that if readers were buying a large volume of free ebooks, that might be throwing the calculations.
Self-published ebooks accounted for one in five ebook purchases, but they only represented 12% of the money spent. Given that self-published ebooks often sell for less than books from legacy publishers, this makes sense.
It would also explain why Nielsen has noticed a drop in the average selling price of ebooks. “The rise in self-publishing meant that in 2013, the average price paid for fiction e-books dropped to around 60% of that paid for fiction paperbacks,” Bohme said.