2015 E-Book Sales at $1.4B

Posted by Always Write at 1:30 PM Tagged with: ,
Apr 262016

The 2015 sales figures are in, and e-book sales had their first meaningful decline: from $1.6B in 2014 to $1.4B in 2015.

Sales had increased exponentially for a while, then plateaued around $1.5B per year, and this is the first real decrease. Is it a blip or the start of a decline?

  • 2002:   $2.1M
  • 2003:   $6.0M   (+ 185.7%)
  • 2004:   $9.3M   (+ 55.0%)
  • 2005:   $16.0M   (+ 72.0%)
  • 2006:   $25.2M   (+ 57.5%)
  • 2007:   $31.7M   (+ 25.8%)
  • 2008:   $61.3M   (+ 93.4%)
  • 2009:   $169.5M   (+ 176.5%)
  • 2010:   $441.3M   (+ 160.4%)
  • 2011:   $1,092.2M   (+ 147.5%)
  • 2012:   $1,540.0M   (+ 41.0%)
  • 2013:   $1,535.0M   (- 0.3%)
  • 2014:   $1,600M   (+ 6.7%)
  • 2015:   $1,400M   (- 12.5%)

Note that the AAP no longer gives as much detail on sales (they want you to pay for exact figures), so the totals for the last 2 years are rounded to the nearest hundred million dollars.

Just for fun, back in 2013, I predicted a “5–10% increase” for 2014 (actual was +6.7%), so I did pretty well there. I didn’t make a prediction for 2015, but I don’t think I would have expected a decrease of more than 10%. It still marks 5 years in a row of e-book sales of over one billion dollars, and remember this only counts large publisher sales, not self-published e-books, which account for a larger and larger slice of the market. So overall e-book sales may even still be going up.

For adult books, e-book sales were down 9.5%, and children’s & young adult e-book sales were down 43.3%.

Overall trade book sales were $7,186.3M in 2015, up slightly from $7,128.7M in 2014. That would put e-books at about 19.5% of the total.

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© 2010 David Derrico