August 2010 E-Book Sales: $39M

 Posted by at 4:53 PM  Tagged with: ,
Oct 152010

August 2010 E-Book Sales Still Strong, Cool Slightly to $39M

The latest e-book sales figures are in (see previous posts and analysis here), and e-book sales have pretty much continued their strong performance from July. They cooled off just slightly, totaling $39.0 million in revenue in August 2010, compared to the record $40.8M in July. That performance still puts e-book sales well above their pace from the first half of the year, and considerably above last year’s figures. For comparison, e-book sales for the first 8 months of 2010 total $263M,* compared to $165.8M for all of 2009, or $89.8M for the first 8 months of 2009 only — an increase of 193% year-to-date. August 2010’s numbers are an increase of 172.4% from August 2009.

* The AAP’s numbers don’t quite add up, as I’ve been tracking them each month (see below), and their monthly totals only add up to $255.6M. Perhaps they’re now including some late-reported sales stats or something. (Sorry, I like for math to add up precisely!)

Another interesting stat: e-book sales now constitute just over 9.0% of all consumer book sales: $263M for 2010 year-to-date, compared to $2.91 billion in trade printed book sales. This is up slightly from May of this year, when the AAP reported that e-books comprised nearly 8.5% of total consumer book sales. And it’s up dramatically from 2009, when e-books were at about 3.3%.

E-Books' percentage of the overall book market increased from a small fraction, to 1.19% in 2008, 3.31% in 2009, and 9.03% in 2010. It has more than doubled now for 3 years in a row.

One last tidbit: August’s $39.0M figure for e-book sales is over 71% as large as the $54.9M of mass-market paperbacks for the month. E-books are up 172.4% from last August, while mass-market paperbacks are down 21.9% from August of last year. Any guesses which figure will be larger in August of 2011? Or maybe even by December of this year?

For review, the monthly sales figures so far this year:

  • Jan 2010: $31.9 M
  • Feb 2010: $28.9 M
  • Mar 2010: $28.5 M
  • Apr 2010: $27.4 M
  • May 2010: $29.3 M
  • June 2010: $29.8 M
  • July 2010: $40.8 M
  • Aug 2010: $39.0 M

After a great start in January, but little growth for the first half of the year, Q3 2010 is on pace to jump a staggering 38.4% over Q2 2010’s numbers (38.4% quarterly growth over 4 quarters would equate to 267% yearly growth). I am tempted to attribute the strong August numbers to the debut of Amazon’s Kindle 3, but it wasn’t announced until July 28 and didn’t ship until August, so I didn’t see how it could account for July’s strong numbers. But something seems to have given e-books a huge shot in the arm this summer, and the strong sales numbers have continued for a second straight month…

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