Wednesday, August 24, 2011


If you haven’t already read the report by the Association of American Publishers and Book Industry Study Group of BookStats, you’ll want to link over to an article in Publishers Weekly that talks about it.

Here are some of the more interesting, I thought, conclusions and stats.
Total estimated revenue for all publishers rose 3.1% in 2010, to $27.9 billion, following a 2.5% increase in 2009. E-book sales across all publishing categories rose 29.4% in 2009 and 38.9% in 2010, and accounted for 5.8% of total industry revenue in 2010.

Hardcover sales, after rising in 2009, fell 6.6% in 2010, the same pattern shown by trade paperback.

BookStats data show what other reports have found—retail stores losing ground to online e-tailers in the trade segment.

While online e-tailer's sales rose 88.8% between 2008 and 2010, it was actually mass merchandisers that had the strongest gains, with sales jumping 553.2%, to $218.5 million, an encouraging development for trade publishers … 
Check out the full article, which includes charts with a breakdown of categories, industry sales, trade sales by format, and trade sales by channel.

Is this bad news for print publishers? Is is good news for readers? 


  1. Makes my head spin, but it sure is interesting to see how fast everything is changing. I'm researching now for an essay I want to write and realizing just how much things have changed since I was a teenager.

  2. I'm hoping more readers will develop among children with the rise of ebooks. Kids like gadgets, shop online - perfect for reading on the go from phones, etc.
    As for publishers - only the ones flexible enough to change will survive.

  3. Seems a difficult time for anyone to enter the book business, all we can do is forge ahead and follow the trends.

  4. It doesn't sound promising for print business, but e-books are gaining speed.

    Thoughts in Progress
    Freelance Editing By Mason

  5. Hi Helen .. thanks for posting the stats ... I'm sure people will still be using books for the next few years, decade or two ..

    Certainly interesting times - Hilary

  6. I do have this futuristic vision where we forget how to interact with other humans because no one leaves their homes for anything, since it's all ordered on line and transported by...robots!

  7. It is good news for authors, who will sell more books and earn money, and for readers, who are obviously reading more than previously reported.

    I see this as an adjustment period. More and more jobs are done in the home remotely and now more books are being bought from home. While this does signal that more etailing is done, it will eventually even out. People are social creatures and need communities. At some point communities online just will not be enough and face to face contact will come back into style.

  8. I read something about this - I think the same thing LOL (those who know me will understand) - at Clarissa Draper's blog this morning. I think we'll know more when others start to look at how everything fits together.

  9. J.M., I know what you mean. Already, I have much less one-on-one interaction with people. On the other hand, I now interact with many more people via the Internet.

  10. Interesting info. Since putting my books on Kindle my sales have soared. I only sell the occasional printed book these days.

  11. sales jumping 553.2%/$218.5 million Wow! Impressive figures. I'll admit, I buy 90% of my books on line and half of that is e-books, now, with my ereader.

    Interesting article!

    I'm not surprised that retail stores are losing ground to online retailers. There is such a large variety of goods available online and not just books. Prices are many times less than what is in retail stores. A matter of convenience and the price of gasoline is probably encouraging online sales as well.

    Living out beyond the back forty, there are few choices in retail stores. Although we have several reasonable, for the area, shopping centers;the nearest mall is at least 100 miles away. Those shopping centers are at least 30 miles away. I think twice before hopping in the car and usually have a list of needs and know I'm going to be gone half the day. Yee-haw, get out the buggy Pa, lol!

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  12. No wonder Mac (my computer) was so happy to take control of Socially Awkward while I was out of town ... while I was frolicking amongst the daffodils, he (she? it?) was frolicking amongst the expanding electronic community.

  13. It's nice to see the figures. I for one am tired of all of the doom and gloom. I suspected things were not as bad as people make out. It's change, change is going to be good for some, and not so good for others. It's always been that way.

  14. Several people have posted about book stats today and it's all starting to blur...

  15. As a substitute teacher I often find myself in reading enrichment classes where there are 15-20 minutes of SSR (silent sustained reading). Lately I see kids who always wasted that time (in a variety of ways, some disruptive to others) with Kindles and Nooks, reading away.

  16. The industry if following demands. I don't think people are reading less, they're just reading differently.


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