Monday, September 24, 2012

Ebooks Grow Wildly But Will They Level Off Soon?

E-Books Are Growing Fast; When Will They Level Off?

29% of all fiction book unit sales were ebooks in the final quarter of 2011 and 16% of all non-fiction book sales in that period were ebooks. A year before that, 12% of fiction unit sales and 5% of non-fiction sales units were ebooks.  The 250% and 300% gains in their respective categories shows that wild growth in ebooks is all around us.  Juvenile ebooks tripled – in one year as well. So what does any of this mean? It may be too early to tell. It is obvious there is an increased interest in ebooks but the question is: When will ebooks stop growing? I think the years of triple-digit growth will continue for another year or two and then double-digits for at least the next couple of years after that. lists more details of the annual study on ebooks and book consumer purchasing habits.

According to Nielsen Bookscan and Publishers Weekly, print sale units are down YTD. Paperbacks declined by 12%, hardcover by 9 % and mass market paperbacks by 26%. Interestingly, board books are only down by less than one percent, which shows parents and grandparents prefer physical books for toddlers.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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