Wiley’s Professional/Trade E-Book Revenues Triple To 11 Percent Of Sales

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Book publisher John Wiley & Sons’ professional/trade book division made $11 million from e-book sales in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, the company reports today. E-books now make up 11 percent of the division’s sales. That’s not as much as at the “big six” publishing companies, but it is strong growth considering that Wiley mainly publishes nonfiction (like the Dummies series and Frommer’s travel guides), which is not nearly as popular a category for e-books as fiction.

For the same time period last year, the company’s professional/trade e-book sales were $7 million, and made up 4 percent of the division’s sales.

The division’s revenue for the first quarter of FY 2012 was up 0.4 percent overall. Wiley said it saw strong digital growth from both the Kindle Store and–somewhat surprisingly considering its relatively small e-book market share–Apple’s iBookstore.

Sales of consumer titles (like the Dummies and Frommer’s series) fell 8 percent to $24 million. Wiley attributed this to “the residual effects of Borders bankruptcy.” Sales of tech titles were down 8 percent to $19 million “against a very strong prior year due to significant software releases.”

Wiley signed e-book sales agreements with Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Germany, ChristianBooks.com, and Blio during the quarter.

Other book publishing companies have also released digital figures in recent weeks, though because some of the companies are not public they did always include actual revenue figures. E-books now make up at least 20 percent of both Random House and Hachette‘s U.S. sales. Digital sales made up 15 percent of Simon & Schuster’s revenues in its most recent earnings report (for the second quarter of 2011, ending June 30). HarperCollins reported that digital sales made up 12 percent of U.S. revenues for its full fiscal year. And in its half-year earnings report, Penguin parent company Pearson (NYSE: PSO) reported that 14 percent of Penguin’s worldwide sales are now digital.



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