Sales of adult trade ebooks continued to slow in Nov. 2012, according to new numbers from the Association of American Publishers.
Ebook sales were up 20.7% in Nov. 2012 for adult trade books versus Nov. 2011. This is down from Oct., where ebook sales grew 41%, and from Sept., when they grew 30.7%. While ebooks still continue to grow at an incredible speed in the U.S. market, it’s at a much slower pace than in previous years when the business typically doubled and tripled. Growth in children’s ebooks continued to moderate at 53.2% growth for the month, retreating from early-year triple-digit gains.
Despite the slowdown, sales for children’s ebooks are still up 141% for the year. Children’s ebook revenues are up to $222.3 million for the year, comprising nearly 12% of all sales. On the adult side, ebooks are up 36% for the year to $1.15 billion, comprising nearly 20% of all sales.
Children’s ebooks may have turned a corner in 2012, especially given a strong Jan. where the category grew by 475.1% and Feb. where it grew by 177.8%. The slowdown to double-digit growth is still a very good sign for children’s publishers. Dec. 2012 and Jan. 2013 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 ticked up to 16% month-over-month after a significant slowdown to 9.4% in Oct. At $53.4 million, religious ebooks are still 23% above where they were last year.
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: Oct. Ebook Growth Numbers