Year-end 2013 book sales numbers are in, and e-books essentially flatlined from 2012 figures, coming in at $1,534M. The slowdown was expected, especially since 2012 was considered a great year due to the success of 50 Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games.
Adult e-book sales were actually up 3.8%, to $1,300.9M. Children’s e-book sales decreased a whopping -26.7% (remember The Hunger Games), while religious e-books increased 9.7%, to $63.6M.
- 2002: $2.1M
- 2003: $6.0M (185.7% increase)
- 2004: $9.3M (55.0% increase)
- 2005: $16.0M (72.0% increase)
- 2006: $25.2M (57.5% increase)
- 2007: $31.7M (25.8% increase)
- 2008: $61.3M (93.4% increase)
- 2009: $169.5M (176.5% increase)
- 2010: $441.3M (160.4% increase)
- 2011: $1,092.2M (147.5% increase)
- 2012: $1,540.0M (41.0% increase)
- 2013: $1,535.0M (0.3% decrease)
Overall book sales came in at $7,013.3M, down almost 1% from 2012. Adult e-book sales actually encompassed 26.7% of the market (up from 23% in 2012). Overall, e-books accounted for 21.9% of all book revenue, slightly behind last year’s pace, since children’s e-book sales were down significantly.
- 2002: 0.05%
- 2006: 0.50%
- 2008: 1.18%
- 2009: 3.17%
- 2010: 8.32%
- 2011: 16.98%
- 2012: 22.55%
- 2013: 21.89%
So how did I do on my yearly prediction? After hitting the target pretty much spot-on (within 3%!) in both 2012 and 2011, I was farther off this year. I did expect e-book sales to slow significantly (I predicted a 20-25% increase, compared to triple-digit increases in the past), but sales ended up essentially flat. As I said, between work and a kid, I have had far less time to keep up with the publishing industry, and I guess it showed. Also, due to the aforementioned constraints on my time, my personal reading has dropped to almost zero… so I partially blame myself for the slowdown in e-book sales!
Just for kicks, what do I think will happen in 2014? I do expect a mild bounce-back, let’s say a 5-10% increase. (Bookmark us and check back in a year. Until then, why not read a good book? 😉 )