Ebook growth continued to slow slightly across the book trade in August as children’s ebooks retreated from an early year surge that saw the segment up in triple digits. Children’s ebook sales only grew by about 50% in August; ebooks sales for adult trade books was up 34%, according to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers.
Despite the slowdown, year-to-date growth numbers for children’s ebooks remain strong at 196% to $177 million. Adult trade ebooks are up 37% for the year to $858 million. Through August, adult ebooks comprise 21% of all adult trade revenues. On the children’s side, ebooks have a much longer way to go and stand at 13% of total revenues year-to-date.
At 50%, children’s ebooks are still growing quickly, 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. A strong holiday buying season for both e-reading devices and digital content is expected to give the children’s digital publishing industry a boost.
Religious ebook growth continues to slow down versus the early part of the year when it was up in triple digits. In August, religious ebook growth was 3.9%. For the year, it’s up about a third to $44 million.
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: July Ebook Growth Numbers
Learn more about where the ebook market has been and where it’s going at Digital Book World 2013 in January in New York City.