The eBook Sales Dip (Roundtable: 6/17/10)

#DBW RoundtableThe Roundtable is a live, interactive webcast gathering some of the most outspoken industry professionals to debate the hottest publishing issues of the week, as being discussed in traditional media, the blogiverse and on Twitter. From celebrity book deals to eBook rights and pricing to [insert YOUR pet topic here] — if it’s related to books, it’s on the agenda.

Topic: The eBook Sales Dip

[slideshare id=4528809&doc=dbw-roundtable-061710-100617131103-phpapp01]

This episode of The Roundtable was webcast live at 1pm EDT on Thursday, June 17, 2010.

Subscribe to the audio podcast here. DBW Members can access the interactive video archive of The Roundtable here.


Laura Dawson, Publishing Industry Consultant
Pablo Defendini, Interactive Producer, Open Road Integrated Media

Special Guests:

Bradley Robb, Author
Sarah Weinman
, Publishing Reporter, AOL’s DailyFinance

Moderated by:

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Dir. of Programming & Business Development, Digital Book World


AAP Reports 11.8% Increase in Book Sales through April

Book sales tracked by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) for the month of April increased by 24.8% percent in April to $629.8 million and were up by 11.8 percent for the year through April.

Adult Paperback sales increased 19.6 percent for the month ($128.2 million) and increased by 19.4 percent for the year. Adult Mass Market sales decreased 17.7 percent for April with sales totaling $49.1 million; sales were down by 6.3 percent through April. E-book sales jumped up 127.4 percent for the month ($27.4 million), reflecting an increase of 217.3 percent for the year-to-date.

New Benchmark for eBook Sales, and New Questions

eBook sales “soared to $31.9 million” in January — presumably spurred by Amazon’s claims of “record-breaking” Kindle sales in December, and “more Kindle books than physical books” being purchased on Christmas Day — but they declined slightly in February and March, with estimated sales of $28.9 million and $28.5 million.

By comparison, Adult Paperback sales ($103.2m, $106.3m, $123.2m) had monthly increases and are up +23.5% over last year, and Adult Mass Market sales ($56m, $49.8m, $53.6m) saw monthly fluctuations and are down -6.6% vs. last year.

BN’s E-Book Market Share Grows Under New CEO

Barnes & Noble’s new CEO William Lynch is making rapid headway for Barnes & Noble in the e-book market. According to Crains New York, Williams has increased’s share in e-books by nearly 20%, making it a distant second to dominant player…

Barnes & Noble’s relationships with publishers, which were not always so friendly, have become the company’s secret weapon in its fight to survive the digital transition and avoid becoming the book industry’s Tower Records.

“Publishers absolutely want us to succeed,” Mr. Lynch told Crains New York. “That’s driving their cooperation with us in the digital world.”

Whatever happened to the e-reader tsunami of 2010?

Along with the rise of 3D TV, E-Ink-based e-readers were one of the biggest tech trends in evidence at CES 2010 in January. Everywhere you turned on the show floor, there was either a 3D TV or a wall of e-readers, to the point that the markets for both seemed saturated before they even got off the ground.

Now, six months out from CES, Panasonic is cleaning up with 3D TV and the tidal wave of e-readers that was supposed to wash up on US shores is… well, that part hasn’t worked out.

Twitter (as RTd by @DigiBookWorld):

RT @jennybullough: ebooks are growing despite, not because of, publishers’ efforts #dbw

RT @MatthewDiener: #dbw If the #s are reported in the same way by the same pubs month to month, then there is significance in the decline.

RT @MatthewDiener: #dbw The significance may simply be that publishers are making less money off each sale, but that is significant.

RT @eBookNoir: #DBW – this makes me think of isbns & wonder if pubs aren’t assigning these, r they tracking correctly or guesstimates?

RT @crych: Blio based on Microsoft’s XPS & WPF; additional support via Silverlight. Quark + Blio = 0 + 0 = 0 #DBW

RT @eBookNoir: #DBW – i see future where physical eReader will matter less as software advances, features r more s/ware related then h/ware

RT @crych: Quark made big push for autopublish to XML, ’99/’00. Never went anywhere. Not all Q’s fault as front-end XML pub foundered. #DBW

RT @MissAdventuring: #dbw I would like to see Bowker keep tabs on everybody, reporting the #s. Maybe some way to allow anon input of stats?

RT @babetteross: #dbw the onus lies on publishers to be transparent on their figures @pablod (not saying this will happen)

RT @jfallone: #dbw Most detailed data may end up coming from Google Editions using Google Analytics.

RT @jvondeling: E-book sales dip? Looking hard to read the tea leaves. Thanks for great chat today by everyone in #DBW community.

3 thoughts on “The eBook Sales Dip (Roundtable: 6/17/10)

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  2. Cathy

    Ebook sales dip? Duh. Publishers raised prices so much customers might as well go buy a print book at Walmart. True of trade paperbacks as well as front list books!

    1. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

      As the “sales dip” is based on net receipts and not units, it doesn’t necessarily mean fewer eBooks were sold, simply that publishers took in less revenue on those that were. There are a lot of possible reasons for that, but due to the lack of clarity on pretty much anything involving eBooks, offering up any of them qualifies as speculation right now. Individual publishers should have a good idea of the reasons, but few are talking publicly.



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