Jun 042014

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? 😉 )

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© 2010 David Derrico