One Publisher's E-Book Revenues Up 795% In 2011


Book publishers don’t often share much information about their digital revenues, but Naperville, Ill.-based independent publisher Sourcebooks reports some good news, including nearly 800 percent growth in e-book revenues in 2011.

The mid-sized Sourcebooks publishes over 300 books a year in a variety of categories, including nonfiction, historical fiction and romance, children’s and gift books. The publisher shared its 2011 results on its blog. Sourcebooks is a privately owned company and does not report its revenues, but says “decline of print book sales looks modest and increase in e-book sales looks incredibly strong.”

E-books now make up 28 percent of Sourcebooks’ revenues. That percentage is a bit higher than at big-six publishers like Random House and Hachette, which most recently reported that e-books make up around 20 percent of their revenues.

Sourcebooks’ e-book unit sales increased 138 percent the week between Christmas and New Year’s, compared to 2010.

The company also noted a shift in retailer market share for its e-books. For Sourcebooks titles, “Barnes & Noble’s Nook steadily gained share in the fourth quarter and posted amazing growth during December and the week of Christmas” — Sourcebooks sales on the Nook platform were up 437 percent over last year.

I’ve updated our Publishers’ Digital Revenues chart with the new data from Sourcebooks.


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