Dec 012011

September 2011 e-book sales: $80.3M

E-Book sales dipped a bit in September 2011, to $80.3M, but were more than double last year’s results, and were strong enough to carry e-books to a new record quarter of $251.7M in Q3, 2011. For the past 13 months:

  • Sep 2010: $39.9 M
  • Oct 2010: $40.7 M
  • Nov 2010: $46.6 M
  • Dec 2010: $49.5 M
  • Jan 2011: $69.9 M
  • Feb 2011: $90.3 M
  • Mar 2011: $69.0 M
  • Apr 2011: $72.8 M
  • May 2011: $87.7 M
  • June 2011: $80.2 M
  • July 2011: $82.6M
  • Aug 2011: $88.8M
  • Sep 2011: $80.3M

Q3 2011 e-book sales: $251.7M

The quarterly sales of just over a quarter of a billion dollars help push e-books to $727.7M for the first 9 months of the year, an increase of 137.9% over last year, and close enough that a strong holiday push could put e-book sales at a billion dollars for the year, as I predicted after February’s sales.

While the AAP frustratingly has become more stingy with its print book sales figures, they did provide percentages that I used to estimate print book sales for the month (fortunately, I keep a spreadsheet with each month’s figures going back to last year). The percentage changes for print books, and my estimates for Sep 2011 sales:

  • Adult hardcover: down 18.1%, est. $147.7M
  • Adult trade paperback: flat, est. $111.5M
  • Adult mass-market paper: down 54.3%, est. $31.0M
  • Young adult hardcover: up 2.1%, est. $78.2M
  • Young adult paperback: down 14.6%, est. $41.5M

Fairly brutal numbers across the board, with only a slight (2.1%) increase in young adult hardcover, flat adult trade paper sales, and decreases in the other categories, including a dramatic 54.3% decrease in mass-market paperback sales. People have said that mass-market paperback sales are the most susceptible to being replaced by e-book sales, since they are generally fiction novels that people read once and then discard or donate — as opposed to hardcovers that people like to display on their bookshelves. The numbers are bearing that out, as e-book sales, which just last year were below mass-market paperback, are now nearly triple. The AAP also pointed out that sales in all print trade segments were down for the 9-month period so far this year.

Based on those estimations, e-book sales accounted for 16.25% of combined print/e-book sales for the month, roughly double the 8.17% overall figure from 2010.

  2 Responses to “September E-Book Sales at $80.3M; Q3 2011 at $251.7M”

Comments (2)
  1. Dear David,

    I was given a Kobo for Christmas and as a result have started getting into the ebook world. The main reason I wanted an eReader was so that I could find authors I’m not likely to find in the shops – I like to think of it as finding ‘indie authors’…

    I stumbled across your book ‘Right Ascension’ and saw that it had a good cover and a good summary and decided to download it. I just wanted to say that it was one of the best Sci Fi books I have read in a while. I’m currently in my final year of uni and am doing my dissertation on a Sci Fi theme as well and will definately be trying to find a way to add it in.

    I know this comment might not be relevant to your actual post but I just wanted to comment, there’s so much I would love to share with you about the book and give any feedback (positive and negative if you want it). I probably, knowing me, will forget to check this blog but please email me to let me know you got this message as I’m so desperate to encourage you as an author! You have kept me up many nights this week just reading and my girlfriend even feels ignored – please don’t stop writing.

    Looking forward to starting ‘Declination’ tomorrow.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Edward Graham-Hyde.
    Preston, UK

    • Edward,

      I very much appreciate your kind words, and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Right Ascension so much. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment and share your thoughts. I replied to you by email as well, and I do hope to hear any other thoughts (positive or negative) you have on my novels.

      – DD

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