On July 18th, The New York Times published some surprising news about 2011 book sales: Retailers sold more e-books in the adult fiction genre than hardcover or paperback books. Of course, if you are an industry insider, this news may not be so surprising after all. E-books sales have grown exponentially in the past few years, forcing publishers to make drastic changes to their workflows and pricing systems. The BookStats report that provided the recent e-book data included sales information from nearly 2,000 publishers. Other data in the article included information on the industry’s overall health and the growth of certain genres, such as young adult fiction. The following excerpt from the New York Times article provides detailed information on the book industry in 2011.
Survey Shows Growing Strength of E-Books
By Julie Bosman
Over all, digital books kept up their explosive growth in 2011, the survey confirmed. Publishers’ net revenue from sales of e-books more than doubled last year, reaching $2.07 billion, up from $869 million in 2010. E-books accounted for 15.5 percent of publishers’ revenues.
But as digital revenue grew, print sales suffered, dropping to $11.1 billion in 2011 from $12.1 billion in 2010.
The annual survey, known as BookStats, includes data from nearly 2,000 publishers of all sizes. It was conducted by two trade groups, the Book Industry Study Group and the Association of American Publishers.
The survey also revealed that revenue in the overall trade book business was relatively flat. Publishers’ net revenues in 2011 were $13.97 billion, up from $13.9 billion in 2010, an increase of 0.5 percent.
Children’s books, a category that includes young-adult fiction like the hugely popular “Hunger Games” trilogy, grew 12 percent in 2011, to $2.78 billion from $2.48 billion in 2010.
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