Thursday, April 14, 2011

AAP February 2011 data is in and...

The full press release can be found here. eBooks hit a major milestone:
"For February 2011, e-Books ranked as the #1 format among all categories of Trade publishing (Adult Hardcover, Adult Paperback, Adult Mass Market, Children’s/Young Adult Hardcover, Children’s/Young Adult Paperback)"
  • ebooks 2010 to 2011 rose 169.4% to $164.1M
  • combined print books 2010 to 2011 declined 24.8% to $441.7M
  • ebooks sales = 29.5% of total ebook/print sales
What is even more important is these numbers come from:
  • data provided by 84 U.S. publishing houses representing major commercial, education, professional, scholarly and independents
  • Data on e-Books comes from 16 houses.
Many have been thinking that ebooks will account for more than 50% of the market by 2015 - I think that date will be adjusted dramatically in the coming months. Remember just 2 months ago when the 2010 numbers were released. Here is a chart from then:

In just two months (data for December vs February) we went from 8% to nearly 30%!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Robin, I followed you over from AW. I just blogged about this and made a few predictions. I would love to know what you think.

Robin Sullivan said...

Welcome David - it's funny after I read your AW post I went to your blog and by now I'm sure you already saw my comments - we are in complete sync with what is going on. For those of my readers looking for another good voice in this changing world - I highly recommed david's blog.

wannabuy said...

Nitpick, two months ago e-books were over 12% of the market. ;) But that includes my assumption of indie/small publisher market share.

How's Nathan's latest book coming along? ;)


Jimmie Hammel said...

Wow, those are astonishing numbers. I can't wait to see what those numbers look like in another 6-12 months. Fascinating.

Donald Wells said...

These numbers are remarkable. It wouldn't shock me if eBooks break the 50% mark by December. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Robin,

I always enjoy reading your stuff.

This news will take a while to digest. Time to get my stuff to market, methinks.


SheaLuna said...

This is fantastic news! Thanks for sharing.

crw said...

Great post. Read David's, also great. My predictions
Paperbacks gone in 2 years
Hardbacks $100+
No chain bookshops only a few struggling indies scattered around.
The book is dead; long live the book.
Evidence. Numbers don't have to fall to near zero before a business goes bust. They only have to fall a small amount until the fall approaches the profit margins, then the banks and investors pull out and what appears to be a thriving business with lots of footfalls goes broke. Young people. To a lot of people unfer 30 ereaders, iPhones iPads etc is not technology it's normal life. They do not have the emotional attachment to dead trees we older people have.
THe book is dead; long live the book.

David Gaughran said...

Good point Christopher. I think digital guru Mike Shatzkin estimated that if booksellers lose 15% of their business they will be in serious trouble. I hope we have a brighter future for indie sellers than you predict, they have championed a lot of smaller, important books over the years, books from small-presses, books without marketing muscle behind it, they have been real heroes. The future looks bleak, however.

Robin Sullivan said...

Hey Wannabuy - Thanks for the 12% number - I missed that one. As to Nathan's book - really well - hope to have it out of my hands this weekend!

Robin Sullivan said...

Wow Christopher those are some amazing predictions. I personally don't think it will fall that fast - but every time the AAP posts new monthly numbers .... well its been pretty dismal for print for a long long time.

The thing that worries me most is the race for the bottom pricing when we are so dominated by ebooks. A $0.99 song is fine - but in general a book takes a lot longer to write and I really want to see those prices up around the $4.95 price so that authors make a good amount.

eug said...

Nobody can predict the future but there are very good reasons to expect ebook sales to accelerate rapidly. This is because of the feedback loops in the rise of ebooks - success breeds success.

The best attempt to articulate this logic is by Tim Spalding at

If he's correct change could come very rapidly indeed once past the tipping point!

Robin Sullivan said...

Gosh how I love people who comment with new posts! Thanks eug - I totally agree!

Shelia A. Huggins said...

I'm glad you've presented this information in a chart. It makes it easier to follow what looks to be very shocking, mostly because it appears to be happening so fast.

When my sister told me she wanted a Kindle, it really hit home for me. We grew up as book lovers, and I've been telling her for awhile now that opening up the doors to ebooks would be like having the world as your bookstore. What reader wouldn't want that.

Also, I saw your post over on Adventures of Epublishing. Great post there also. I'll have to check out David's blog too.

Robin Sullivan said...

Thanks Shiela, glad you liked it. I did'tknow Derek posted it yet. I'll have to drop over there.

Anonymous said...

The Tim Spalding article that eug posted above is excellent by the way, showing quite clearly that the tipping point will be far, far before 50% of market share.

Robin Sullivan said...

Thanks david - and Eug - I'll definitely be checking it out!

Anonymous said...

It is a poor mouse that has only one hole.