March 18, 2011

January Sees Jump In E-book Sales

Electronic book sales, continuing to show strong popularity, increased by more than 115 percent in January compared to the same month in 2010, according to a report released by the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Figures show that e-book net sales totalled $32.4 million in January 2010, and jumped to $69.9 million in the same time period this year, continuing a rising demand for electronic books while conventional hardcover and paperback books continue to decline.

Sales of downloadable audio books also rose by 8.8 percent ($6.5m) compared to the year before ($6.0).

The book industry has been plagued by technological advancements, such as e-readers and tablet computers that allow users to buy books electronically and download them onto their devices. Overall US book sales have continued to decline in the process.

According to the AAP, total book sales for all platforms, and in all categories, reached $805.7 million in January, a short decline from January 2010's $821.5 million in sales.

Hardcover sales fell from $55.4 million in January 2010 to $49.1 million this year, while paperback sales dropped from $104.2 million to $83.6 million in the same period, the AAP reports.

But for books in the Higher Education sector, numbers held fairly steady, dropping just slightly from $387.6 million to $382 million in the same January-to-January timeframe.

Children's and Young Adult's book sales were $56.6 million in January 2011 versus $62.7 million in January 2010.

Sales of Religious Books grew 5.6 percent, from $49.8 million to $52.6 million.

And for books in the Professional and Scholarly category, sales were up 1.3 percent, from $51.2 million to $51.8 million. University Press books were at $10.1 million in January 2011, down from $11.2 million the year before.

Figures cited represent domestic net sales for US book publishers.


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