eBook Sales Up at HarperCollins But Down at S&S, Hachette

Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins have each released their latest financial report this week, and the news was generally good. Both publishers reported rising revenues, and HarperCollins revealed that ebook revenues were continuing to increase.

HarperCollins's info was released as part of parent company NewsCorp's annual earnings report, which showed that the publisher's revenues increased 6% to $1.43 billion in 2014, while profits increased 38% to $198 million. The company’s profit margin also grew accordingly to 13.8%, up from 10.6%.

eBook revenues for FY 2014 were up 35% versus 2013, and now account for 22% of overall sales (compared to 17% in FY 2013).

Over at Simon & Schuster, parent company CBS reported that S&S had sales of $211 million for the second quarter, up 11.6% from the same period last year.

S&S also reported that digital revenues had declined to 25% for the quarter, down from 29% in the same quarter last year. eBooks now account for 22.3% of revenues, down from 26.5% a year ago.

It's worth noting that the HC revenues reflect 3 quarters of participation in subscription ebooks, while S&S only added their titles to Oyster and Scribd about 6 weeks before the end of the quarter. S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy was reportedly surprised at the response "We put our entire backlist in, and it's pretty heartening to see to see consumers buy from our entire list, exploring and discovering of a whole series of books, not just the most famous author names."

And as I reported last week, Hachette Livre's US ebook sales dropped to 29% of US trade revenues in the first half of 2014, down from 34% in the first half of last year. In comparison, UK ebook sales reached 36% of net sales in adult trade vs. 31% last year. As a whole ebooks accounted for 11.3% of Hachette Livre's total net sales, the same as in the first half of 2013.

Revenues for the US publisher were not disclosed, but Hachette Livre's total revenues (including the US-based Hachette Book Group) were down 14 million euros, to 903 million euros.

So HarperCollins' ebook revenues are up, while S&S and Hachette Book Group are  down. I wonder why?

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. 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.

5 Comments

  1. Angela Booth9 August, 2014

    (Snicker): I LOVE this. I happily buy HarperCollins ebooks because the prices are reasonable; around $7 per ebook, even for books recently published.

    From what I’ve seen, Hachette prices its ebooks at over $12, even for books published years ago. Some newly published ebooks are $20.

    Reply
  2. Felipe Adan Lerma9 August, 2014

    I think I’d read (re S&S sales) that there were some big sellers last reported period. Kinda like when a movie studio has a block buster.

    What I like about S&S is this :

    “…in subscription ebooks, while S&S only added their titles to Oyster and Scribd about 6 weeks before the end of the quarter. S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy was reportedly surprised at the response “We put our entire backlist in, and it’s pretty heartening to see to see consumers buy from our entire list, exploring and discovering of a whole series of books, not just the most famous author names.”

    My experience with Scribd has been great. Hope S&S keeps adding titles (smiles)

    Reply
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