The newest statistics from the Association of American Publishers show that e-books saw triple-digit percentage growth in October, compared to the same time last year. But print sales continue to decline, leading to an overall drop in trade book sales year-on-year.
Here’s how October 2011 stacked up compared to October 2010. Trade sales were down 7.8 percent compared to October 2010. Note a particular decline in the adult mass market category, down 37.6 percent compared to this month last year.
And here’s how sales compare for the first ten months of this year, compared to that period last year. Mass market is down 33.7 percent for the year to date, while e-book sales are up 131.1 percent for the year to date.
Note that format isn’t broken out for Religious books in the AAP stats, so it’s unclear from this data whether the growth in that category is primarily on the print or digital side.
The AAP data is provided by 80 U.S. publishers, with 17 of those additionally providing e-book figures. The AAP cautions that its monthly statistics should not be compared directly to BookStats, the AAP’s recently launched joint venture with the Book Industry Study Group, which will include data from nearly 2,000 publishers and will be published annually. Rather, the monthly numbers provide a general sense of broader trends in book publishing.