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AAP Reports US eBook Sales Up 46% in 2012, Now Well Over a Fifth of US Book Market

5201787315_290ea3231d[1]The Association of American Publishers has released a new monthly revenues report for October 2012, and if these statistics are any indication someone other than B&N has been selling a lot of ebooks.

The general book market was up 8.7% from $5.4 billion to $5.9 billion in the first 10 months of 2012, with only a few market segments reporting a decline (adult mass market paperbacks, adult & religious hardcovers and YA paperback). Children’s books in particular saw decent growth (18.7% overall), but ebooks continue to be the bright spot in the monthly report.

eBooks continue to exceed the grown of the rest of the market, with combined sales across all segments increasing by 46% ($896 million to $1.3 billion). Much of the growth can be attributed children’s ebooks (up 160%), which is still seeing the record breaking 3 digit growth rate that the overall ebook market experienced in 2009 and 2011, but the adult ebook and religious ebook segments are still seeing excellent growth (35.9% and 22.9%, respectively).

According to AAP’s publicly available stats, eBooks now account for  22% of the US book market. This change was accomplished in only 5 years.

image by Bill Ward’s Brickpile

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Claire February 28, 2013 um 6:26 am


Any chance of a link to the AAP stats, if they’ve been released? Would be interested to see how Academic is doing in all this.


Nate Hoffelder February 28, 2013 um 6:56 am

I only have the press release email, sorry. The rest of the stats are available to paying AAP members or foks with more money than me.

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Hamish March 5, 2013 um 1:00 pm

If I read your summary correctly, those %age market shares are based upon selling price. I presume that it doesn’t take into account the many free ebooks that are downloaded from sites like Amazon every day.

If you were also to assume that, on average, an ebook sells for less than either a hardcover or a paperback, you might suppose that the %age market share, by units sold, would be a little higher (in favour of ebooks).

Personally, I hardly ever buy "real" books any more. Since I got my Kindle back in 2009, I doubt if I’ve bought more than half a dozen physical books.

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