News & Trends: eBooks ... By the Numbers
We all see the statistics about e-books comprising increasing portions of industry sales—but, as it can be difficult
to see the forest for the trees, it's also sometimes difficult to see the trees for the forest. So here's a look at some
specific companies in varying industry segments and where they stand on the e-book sales spectrum.
Random House's digital book sales more than tripled last year, boosting overall revenue 6 percent, according to an April 3 NYTimes.com article. "E-books, Random House reported, accounted for 10 percent of U.S. sales." Outside the United States, growth lagged. "… Markus Dohle, chief executive of Random House, predicted that Europe would catch up with the United States in two to five years," reported the Times.
Random House Inc. has 17,000+ front and backlist titles in e-book format, according to a company press release.
5% Revenue Growth
Hachette Book Group reported a 138-percent jump in e-book revenues in 2010, consisting of 8 percent of the company's total revenue, versus 3 percent in 2009. The company's UK e-book revenue also grew, but accounted for just 1 percent of 2010 revenue.
Like a Kid in an E-bookstore
Scholastic estimates that e-books comprise, on average, 10 percent of sales for titles available in both print and e-book formats. The company has increased its digital investment from $20 million to $30 million for 2011. Scholastic plans to launch this fall a proprietary e-reader software and an e-bookstore for kids.
An Inkling for the iPad
"… Schools are beginning to incorporate [tablet] devices into the classroom, leading publishers to strike deals to expand their e-textbook offerings," recently reported the Wall Street Journal. The article cited higher-ed textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Co.'s efforts to make significantly more titles available for the Apple iPad though a partnership with interactive textbook start-up Inkling.
The WSJ also reported, "Pearson PLC said it is also in advanced discussions with Inkling. …"
John Wiley & Sons Inc.reported that e-book sales nearly doubled in Q3 FY2011 to $5 million, over Q3 2010, and totaled $15 million for the first three quarters. The company also launched, in Q3, seven mobile apps for the Apple platform.
e-Bibles: Selling Fast
Zondervan recently reported it has 2,000+ e-books available through Zondervan.com and other e-tailers. As of mid 2010, Zondervan's e-Bibles comprised "more than 40 percent of [its] e-book revenues," according to Christian site TheStraitGate.org.
Earlier this year, Zondervan reported that its updated New International Version (NIV) e-book of the Bible, was the company's fastest-selling e-book, and it made USA Today's "Best-Selling" list spanning all books, not just e-books. BB