Ebooks accounted for nearly a quarter of the U.S. trade book business in 2012, according to statistics released Thursday by the Association of American Publishers. The ebook industry appears to be maturing, however, and triple-digit growth is likely a thing of the past.

Ebooks accounted for 22.55 percent, or nearly a quarter, of U.S. book publishers’ sales in 2012, according to a full-year report released by the Association of American Publishers Thursday. That’s up from 17 percent of sales in 2011 and 3 percent in 2009. Ebook growth continued to plateau, however, suggesting that the industry is maturing.

Revenues for the total U.S. trade book industry — in which the AAP includes religious publishing — were $7.1 billion in 2012, up 6.2 percent from the previous year. Of that, $1.54 billion came from ebooks: $1.25 billion from adult fiction and nonfiction, $232.8 million from children’s/young adult and $57 million from religious books.

This data comes from the AAP’s monthly StatShot reports, which survey around 1,200 publishers on category and format sales. It’s different from the data provided by BookStats, an annual survey from the AAP and the Book Industry Study Group that aims to estimate the full size of the book publishing industry in the U.S. BookStats data for 2012 will be available in May.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock / Borys Shevchuk 

  1. >>>suggesting that the industry is maturing.

    Of that Americans are growing increasingly poor. If public libraries could loan eBooks the same way they loan print books, I bet the figure would be huge.

    And 23%? Anyone still think it’s just a fad?

    1. @mikecane — you CAN borrow ebooks at public libraries.http://ebooks.nypl.org/901E1362-0973-46F9-B15E-9CF2E77503A2/10/257/en/BrowseeBooks.htm

  2. As much as I love soft and hard cover books (especially the old treasures), this 23% illustrates how handy and convenient ebooks are for the reader; and it’s not just a fleeting trend. Who doesn’t prefer to download a book on a Kindle or Nook right at the moment you want to read it? I’d like to see more of the classics in fiction in ebook format. On my fiction blog I feature classic short stories. People love to download a quick short read, especially if it’s by a famous author like Poe, Lovecraft, Hawthorne, Arthur Conan Doyle. But truthfully, the female classic authors get the highest hits: Mary Shelley, Edith Wharton, Charlotte P. Gilman. More ebooks for classic fiction readers, please! You’ll see this 23% go higher.

    1. Johan Granlund Saturday, April 13, 2013

      For Classics: See Project Gutenberg! Scanned and Proofread out of copyright books.

  3. source?


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