eBooks Now More Profitable Than Hardcover Books

It’s a milestone for the electronic age that traditional print publishers (specifically those who haven’t embraced electronic publishing) are likely groaning about. The Association of American Publishers announced today that ebooks have now topped hardcover revenues for the first time in history. And the trend doesn’t seem headed for a reversal any time soon. From …   Read More

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1984 2

It’s a milestone for the electronic age that traditional print publishers (specifically those who haven’t embraced electronic publishing) are likely groaning about.

The Association of American Publishers announced today that ebooks have now topped hardcover revenues for the first time in history.

And the trend doesn’t seem headed for a reversal any time soon.

From Tech Crunch:

Ebook revenues topped out at $282.3 million YTD while hardcovers hit $229.6. Almost exactly a year ago the tables were turned with ebooks hitting $220 million and hardcovers brushing past $335 million.

Incredibly, the only growth in hardcovers was observed in the young adult/children’s category. According to the AAP:

While Children’s/Young Adult physical format Hardcover and Paperback both saw strong double-digit growth (68.9% and 61.9% respectively), AAP’s first monthly data on Children’s/YA eBooks showed a massive +475.1% increase from 2011 to 2012. Some publishers have attributed this to the availability of more options for devices aimed at those demographics as well as a number of popular new releases.

All told, the publishing world (electronic and print combined) is strong.  The AAP surveyed 1,149 publishers to learn that total trade revenue spiked more than 27% during the past year.

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2 comments

  1. Maria Juarez

    Thanks for such great and interesting facts that have been provided. I found your post to be a great reading material. Thanks!

  2. Andi Sporki

    As the person who produces and releases AAP's monthly statistics reports – the one you're citing – your statement that "this is a milestone…that traditional print publishers are likely groaning about" is as naive as claiming that traditional tube TV makers are bemoaning the popularity of flat-screen LEDs.

    Every publisher in our organization – from the majors to the boutique houses – is working in all available formats and active in developing more. The growth in ebooks certainly has its roots in the popularity of e-readers and tablets. But minus content, these devices are nothing more than attractive hardware. Publishers have led the way in translating the print experience to digital, adapting books and other works for all the formats in operation, creating enhanced elements, distributing and marketing in new ways and dealing with digital piracy. Through their efforts, they're growing literacy, the pleasure of reading and bringing younger audiences to the written word.

    Publishers aren't groaning over ebook popularity. They embraced it long ago and are leaders in driving it.
    Andi Sporkin
    Association of American Publishers

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