For July, Sales of E-books and Downloaded Audio Books Post Largest Gains
According to publishers' book sales figures for the month of July, which are tracked and released by the Association of American Publishers, e-book and downloaded audio book sales posted the highest increases over July 2009, compared to other book categories. Overall book sales for July decreased by 1.3 percent to $1.5 billion compared to the previous year; year to date, they were up by 8.1 percent.
E-book sales grew by triple digits, with a 150.2-percent increase over July 2009 to $40.8 million; year-to-date e-book sales increased 191 percent. Downloaded audio books saw an increase of 38.4 percent over last year to $6.6 million, with year-to-date sales increasing 35.3 percent. Physical audio book sales, however, decreased 35.6 percent in July, with sales totaling $8.7 million; year-to-date sales were down slightly by 0.6 percent.
In addition to e-books and downloaded audio books, other book categories that posted increases in July sales included the following:
- University press hardcover books increased 20.9 percent to $6 million; sales increased by 4.6 percent year-to-date.
- Professional books rose 5 percent to $123.8 million and were up by 9.9 percent for the year to date.
- Higher-education publishing sales increased 0.2 percent for the month to $926.4 million and increased 13.5 percent for the year.
- The K-12 elementary/high school category posted sales of $729.9 million, up 4.2 percent over the prior year, and year-to-date sales of $2.2 billion, a 13.5-percent increase over 2009.
In addition to physical audio books, other book categories posting decreases in July sales included the following:
- Hardcover children's/young adult (YA) sales were down 19.1 percent with sales of $45.1 million; year-to-date sales were down by 16 percent.
- Children's/YA paperback sales decreased 1.7 percent with sales totaling $50 million; sales fell 5.9 percent for the year to date.
- The adult hardcover category was down 15.2 percent with sales of $74.1 million, although sales for the year to date were up by 10.2 percent.
- Adult paperback sales decreased 10.1 percent to $111.1 million, but increased by 8.6 percent for the year.
- Adult mass-market sales decreased 11 percent, with sales totaling $60.6 million; sales were down by 13.1 percent year to date.
- Religious books were down 11.9 percent, with sales totaling $37.4 million, and sales were down by 0.4 percent for the year to date.
- University press paperback posted a loss of 2 percent with sales totaling $7.8 million, but sales were up 1.5 percent for the year.