Growth in children’s ebook publishing revenues in the U.S. showed signs of slowing from a stupendous rate earlier in the year, perhaps affected by the Hunger Games ebook sales tapering off. Adult trade ebook growth in July was in line with figures from the rest of the year which show a steep drop-off from triple-digit growth rates of the past few years, according to new figures from the Association of American Publishers.
Children’s ebooks grew by 89% in July 2012 versus the same period last year — a fast growth rate, to be sure, but much slower than in early 2012 when children’s ebooks saw monthly growth rates of 475.1% in January and 177.8% in February.
The slowdown is likely due to tapering sales for Scholastic’s smash hit The Hunger Games. In August, for instance, The Hunger Games had already fallen from its stranglehold grip on the top three spots on ebook best-seller lists, a spot it held for much of the first half of the year. Last week, only two of the three Hunger Games ebooks were in the top 25.
Meanwhile, adult ebook sales were up 48% in July versus the same period last year. From 2007 through 2011, e-book sales doubled or more every year. This year, ebook growth has slowed to a still-breakneck speed of about 30% to 50%. According to Publishers Lunch, ebook revenues are at about 26% of overall trade publishing revenues.
Religious ebook growth has slowed considerably since the early part of the year when it saw triple-digit gains. It was up 9.2% in July.
In 2012, the AAP expanded the number of publishers queried to nearly 1,200 versus about 90 in 2011. The report now also includes additional categories, like children/young adult. The 2011 numbers have been backwards-engineered to include the expanded data set.
Related: June Ebook Growth Numbers