Sales of electronic books in January, 2011, doubled from the same month last year, according to a report released by the Association of American Publishers. Unfortunately, sales of books overall in the U.S. dropped almost 2% from the same period in 2010.
Figures for the first month of the new year show that e-book net sales increased by 115.8% compared to January 2010 (from $32.4 million to $69.9 million). Total books sales on all platforms, in all categories, hit $805.7 million for January, which was a slight drop from January 2010’s $821.5 million sales (-1.9%). Adult hardcover category fell from $55.4 million to $49.1 million (-11.3%), adult paperback dropped from $104.2 million to $83.6 (-19.7%) and adult mass market declined from $56.4M to $39.0 (-30.9%). Sales of downloadable audio books also rose by 8.8% compared to the previous year ($6.0 million to $6.5 million).
As AAP reported recently, e-book sales have increased annually and significantly in all nine years of tracking the category.
The increase of sales of e-books, which are more affordable than typical books, may point to the fact that those, who actually read a lot of books have initiated transition to electronic books. As a result, the overall book market started to decline. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. and eventually the world will switch to digital books widely and physical books share the fate of CDs and DVDs in the coming years.
The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. Its 300 members include most of the major commercial, education and professional publishers as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies.