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Book sales decline, but e-book sales rise

Promwad's E-book cover concept design

The Southern Review reports:

Book sales decline as consumers cut spending in contracting economy

Net sales of books in April fell 3.5 percent to $472.7 million, based on data from 79 publishers as reported to the Association of American Publishers. For the year to date, net sales of books were $2.183 billion, unchanged from the same period last year.

Not all sales were down. Among those that increased were:

bulletE-book sales rose 19.9 percent to $3.4 million.
bulletUniversity press hardcover sales rose 12.1 percent to $5.6 million.
bulletAdult mass market sales rose 4.7 percent to $53.2 million.
bulletAdult trade paperback sales rose 4.5 percent to $118.3 million.
bulletAudiobook sales rose 1.7 percent to $12.6 million.

Among declining categories:

bulletHigher Ed sales declined 30.5 percent to $8 million.
bulletReligious books decreased 21.5 percent to $34.2 million.
bulletChildren's/YA hardcover sales dropped 19.9 percent to $39 million.
bulletUniversity press paperbacks dropped two percent to $2.7 million).
bulletAdult hardcover sales were down 4.6 percent to $110 million.
bulletChildren's/YA paperback sales dropped 3.1 percent to $39.3 million.

Not surprising considering the massive price of hardcovers which is a good chunk of gas money. E-books were gaining momentum even before Tor and HQN got on the map and now with the e-readers, iphone and blackberries, it's even easier to acquire and read the downloaded books. Now if we can only get rid of DRM and find a singular format to read across devices, we'll really see a rise in E-books!


divisionred said…
The question that I have is why does ebooks cost so much, They cost as much as a paper back novel and sometimes more? Thanks
Savannah Chase said…
wow this new ebook reader looks great...i think ebook readers are going to take over.....cheaper and more to carry
Rae L. said…
Hey divisionred! Good to see ya. :-)

That's a BIG downfall from a lot of the big NY companies, I think. Sometimes I see them sell a new release from major big author of the month and it's 24.95! :-O Insanity. True though, most epubs sell novel lengths for around the price of a mass market but I do notice places like Fictionwise tend to discount that. I imagine they put it up about that is they're using the same model as print: gotta pay the author, the pub, the cover artist and sometimes even a big ole chunk to 3rd party sellers to make the books available on other sites. The whole industry needs an overhaul and they're really feeling it in the pockets now with the economic shift. I think that's why a few companies are making some of their books available for free (woo hoo!) to entice new readers.

Hey Sav!

It looks so cool doesn't it? I was so jazzed to find out about it cause it's the size of a paperback book and looks like comfy reading (in color, too!) I contacted the company to find out where it's available at, but they said it's only a concept design and not in existence. :-( I was so bummed cause that's the perfect size for reading. Kinda like a hardcover. I really hope it comes out one way or another.

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