Thursday, April 14, 2011

eBook Sales Set Another Record, But Can't Outpace the Decline in Print

eBooks indisputably comprise a significant portion of trade revenues following the Christmas boom in ereading-capable devices, confirmed by another record ebook sales tally from among the 14 publishers who report. The AAP data also shows what publishers' net shipments look like in a world in which no one is sending books to Borders.

February ebook sales totaled $90.3 million, significantly ahead of the record $69.9 million reported the previous month. In January ebooks were the second-largest trade segment, behind trade paperbacks, but in February they moved ahead as the single largest-selling format (with trade paperbacks at $81.2 million).

Just as ebooks rose, print book shipments were down across the board by significant percentages, with adult hardcover suffering the most, declining 43 percent compared to February 2010. Net trade print book sales for the month among the reporting AAP members were $215.2 million--down 30 percent from $308.7 million.

In January, the increase in ebook sales of $37.5 million did not make up for the decline in trade print sales of $50.4 million. It was the same in February, with ebooks' gain of $60.4 million lagging print's decline of $93.5 million.

Overall, ebooks comprise 29.5 percent of the reported trade sales for February. (Which means they are actually somewhat higher, since more publishers report print sales to the AAP than report ebook sales. Similarly, we remind you that direct year-over-year comparisons of ebook sales are skewed because two additional publishers starting reporting ebook data for 2011.)

*An article from today's Publisher's Lunch

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