The trend of more moderate growth for ebooks in the U.S. in 2012 continued in Sept. as sales of adult trade ebooks were up 30.7%, much less than the triple-digit sales growth seen in ebooks in previous years. Growth in children’s ebooks also moderated to a 44.4% growth rate in the month, retreating from early-year triple-digit gains.
Despite the slowdown to what is still breakneck growth, sales for children’s ebooks are still up 177% for the year through the first three quarters, according to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers. Children’s ebook revenues are up to $190.6 million for the year, comprising nearly 13% of all sales. On the adult side, ebooks are up 36.2% for the year to $961.6 million, comprising nearly 21% of all sales.
Children’s ebooks may have turned a corner in 2012, especially given a strong Jan. where children’s ebooks grew by 475.1% and Feb. where the segment grew by 177.8%. The slowdown to sub-50% growth is still a very good sign for children’s publishers. Dec. and Jan. will be interesting months to watch, as new survey data suggest that parents spent a lot of money buying new devices and digital content for their children this holiday season.
Growth in religious ebooks continued to moderate at 21.9% in Sept. and 24.7% for the year to $43.4 million, comprising 9.1% of the total.
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: August Ebook Growth Numbers