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New stats: Ebooks still growing, but more slowly

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The newest statistics from the Association of American Publishers show that publishers’ ebook revenue is still increasing — but, as has been true for several months now, they are no longer seeing triple-digit growth in adult fiction and nonfiction ebooks.

In its latest “StatShot,” released Monday, the AAP reported 1,186 publishers’ net revenue for August 2012, the latest month for which figures are available, and for the year to date. Here’s a breakdown of publishers’ revenues by category, for the first 8 months of 2012 compared to the first 8 months of 2011:

Revenues from adult ebook sales were up 36.9 percent through August 2012. By comparison, revenues from adult ebook sales increased by 144.4 percent for the first eight months of 2011.

Children’s and YA ebook revenues, starting from a smaller base, grew by 196.4 percent for the first eight months of 2012. Overall, children’s and YA books are the industry’s fastest-growing category, due in part to the success of adult crossover titles like The Hunger Games.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Thomas Bethge

4 Responses to “New stats: Ebooks still growing, but more slowly”

  1. Steve Hoffenberg

    Percentage increases are misleading in early stage market numbers precisely because the numbers are fairly low. For any kind of established market, growth of 36.9% is still very strong and would indicate doubling in about two and a half years.

    I think more revealing stats would be the total revenue for those publishers, including print and ebook, and the percentage from ebooks.

  2. Several thoughts:

    1) Post-Christmas, there will be a surge as people try out their new e-readers with well-known authors and titles
    2) Established publishers are losing market share to self-published e-book titles
    3) Publishers are being forced to discount as the number of ebook titles explodes
    4) As e-readers transition into tablets, people will spend more time consuming other types of content — video, games, Web, etc.