If the eBook Market is Flattening Out Then Why Are eBook Sales Up at HarperCollins and Hachette?
Two different major publishers have reported in the past couple days that their ebook revenues have increased in the past quarter, and I would say that tends to cast a lot of doubt on the idea that ebooks have leveled off.
Yesterday HarperCollins mentioned in their quarterly report that their ebook revenues for the first fiscal quarter increased significantly over that of the same period last year. They cited that ebooks now made up about 22% of revenue ($72 million, by my calculations) up from 15% last year ($53 million, again by my calculations).
I already have a reader who quite reasonably pointed out that a single point doesn’t make an argument; it’s merely anecdotal. This is true, but 3 points make a line. And that’s why I am pleased that Lagardère released a quarterly financial statement today.
Guess what they said about ebooks?
They’re still seeing strong growth.
Hachette, Lagardère’s US sub, saw a revenue increase of 11%. That’s a damned good report for a recession, and part of it was probably due to ebooks. According to Lagardère, ebooks represented 27% of adult book sales in the third quarter, up from 20% in Q3 of last year. They also reported that ebooks accounted for 30% of adult book sales in the UK, up from 20% last year.
Neither publisher released any info on the number of units sold, so we don’t know (for example) whether the end of agency may have affected ebook sales.We also don’t know for sure the actual increase in revenue, but I’m fine with that.
Two major publishers are still seeing excellent growth in ebook revenue year over year. I have 3 data points that suggest that we have yet to hit peak ebooks, so reports that the market has flattened should be taken with a large grain of salt.
image by freetrader57