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Trade Publishing Increases Nearly 7%, Ebooks Grow Nearly 45%, According to "BookStats" Industry Survey for 2012

US Publishing’s Most Comprehensive Annual Survey Now Available

May 15, 2013 By Press Release

New York; May 15, 2013 – The US Trade publishing industry – which produces general-interest fiction and non-fiction for adults, children and young adults – experienced significant overall growth in 2012, with eBooks increasing 45% over the past year while hardcovers and paperbacks held steady, according to the just-released BookStats Volume 3, the most comprehensive survey capturing the size and scope of the US book publishing industry.

According to BookStats, total net revenue for the Trade publishing sector was $15.049 Billion in 2012, an increase of +6.9% over 2011.  The overall US publishing industry – including Trade as well as K-12 School, Higher Education and Professional/Scholarly Publishing, - was $27.124 Billion for 2012.

The new edition of BookStats, co-produced by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group, is now available for purchase.

Some highlights of this year’s report:

Trade publishing saw significant growth since 2011 and 2008, the report’s first year

The increases were fueled by a year of strong new releases, particularly in the romance genre, and even more widespread popularity of eBooks than in past years.  This growth occurred despite the loss of numerous brick-and-mortar stores in 2012 and a lower cost for eBooks than print books, which translated to higher quantities of eBooks sold. [See Chart 1]

BookStats chart 1
[+] click to enlarge

eBooks are now fully embedded in the format infrastructure of Trade book publishing

The consistent growth of eBooks demonstrates that publishers have successfully evolved the technology environment for their content – more so than other historically print-based content industries.  eBooks grew nearly 45% since 2011 and now constitute 20% of the Trade market, playing an integral role in 2012 Trade revenue.  The most pivotal driver of eBooks remains Adult Fiction, with Children’s/Young Adult also showing strong numbers. [See Chart 2]

Bookstats chart 2
[+] click to enlarge

Adult fiction dominates eBook growth but Children’s/YA fiction has increased dramatically in the past year. [See Chart 3]

Bookstats chart 3
[+] click to enlarge

Consumers love to read and want books in all the formats available to them

While eBooks keep growing, hardcover and trade paperback formats continued to hold steady in 2012.  The audiobook format, which has shown momentum over the past few years with the rise of mobile devices and interest in purchasing quality downloadable content for them, also remains solid. [See Chart 4]

Bookstats chart 4
[+] click to enlarge

Since its debut edition covering 2008-2010, BookStats has been a co-production of the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group.  Volume 3 captures net revenue and units for all key publishing categories, sectors, formats and main genres, providing a five-year historical track that encompasses the digital transition.  It also examines trends in publishers’ sales channels including retail, institutional and other categories.

 

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