Ebook Growth Slows

25mphRemember when ebook revenues were growing by triple digits month-over-month? Well, those days are long over. That’s the bad news. The good news is that ebooks are still growing at a healthy double-digit clip – and on a much larger base.
According to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers, ebook revenues were up about 21% in Nov. 2012 versus the same month last year. This is down from Oct. 2012, when ebook sales grew by 41% and from Sept. when they grew 31%. For the year, ebooks are up about 35%. Year-to-date, ebooks comprise nearly 20% of all trade revenues.
Here are a few important points to consider for publishers:
— Ebooks are continuing to grow at a breakneck clip. When the Dec. and Jan. numbers come out and reveal the effect of another holiday season when consumers unwrapped new tablets and e-readers, we’ll have a better idea of what 2013 and 2014 will hold. 

— These numbers are reflective of ebooks across trade publishing. Some genres, like romance, are already rumored to be above 50% when it comes to ebook revenues. Each kind of publisher will have varied numbers here and therefore be on a different place on the adoption curve. Plan accordingly.

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The rest of the day’s top news:
How to Make $1 Million Super Fast From Writing Books (Forbes)
We reported earlier this week on Jennifer L. Armentrout’s six-figure deal with HarperCollins. If there is a formula to go from “aspiring writer” to author-millionaire, she might just have it. Read more of her story as well as five pieces of advice that other authors should observe to try and replicate her success. (Pro-tip: Some of the advice applies to publishers, too.)
Amazon Crowdsources Another Huge Well of Content for Kindle (DBW)
Amazon has developed a “Send to Kindle” button for news websites and blogs. On participating sites, users can send articles directly to their Kindle devices with the click of a button. TIME and The Washington Post are already signed up. Amazon has also developed a WordPress plug in. The move makes owning a Kindle that much more convenient for readers.
Reorg in Marketing at St. Martin’s (PW)
Responding the changes in the marketplace and reader habits, St. Martin’s press, a division of Macmillan, has reorganized its publicity and marketing department. The department will now operate according to genre and topic rather than by format of content.
Lulu Beefs up Team for Next Push (DBW)
Self-publishing platform Lulu has made six executive hires, including an executive vice president of strategy and marketing, in order to beef up its team for its next round of expansion.
MLB to Publish Enhanced Ebooks (PW)
Dovetailing perfectly with a trend we highlighted yesterday: Major League Baseball will now be producing enhanced ebooks in partnership with HarperCollins unit Ecco. Editors at MLB.com will be writing the books and providing the enhanced content. Related: The Atomization of Publishing.
Email Marketing Site BookBub Reaches Million User Mark (DBW)
BookBub sends readers free emails alerting them to limited-time discounts on books they might want to read. The site is signing up five-to-ten thousand new subscribers a day and has now reached the million user mark.
SEO for Books (Pub Perspectives)
Books are not websites but if part of your book is available on the Web than part of it is a website. Here’s what you need to know about SEO, books and discoverability.
Rumor Mill: $99 Kindle Fire? (TechCrunch)
A source has told TechCrunch that Amazon plans on shipping a $99 Kindle Fire tablet this year. Amazon already sells a very basic version of the device for $159. Apparently, however, it’s just a rumor: An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that “It’s not happening.”

Another Author Rants About Publishers (Charlie Stross Blog)
Author Charlie Stross (several dozen titles, including Rule 34 and The Apocalypse Codex) registers many of the same gripes we’ve heard before about publishers. He also has some interesting suggestions for those willing to go very experimental, like doing A/B testing on covers, using animated covers, selling by reverse auction (the newer the title, the more you pay) and more.
Boring But Important: Amazon Cloud Contract With CIA (Federal Computer News)
Amazon is rumored to be on the cusp of signing a ten-year, $600 million deal with the CIA for cloud computing.
Why Your Friends Don’t Buy Your Book (Self-Publishing Review)
This author found out the hard way that 600 Twitter followers and 1,000 “likes” on a book’s Facebook page is basically the same online marketing footprint as a shipwrecked hermit.


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4 thoughts on “Ebook Growth Slows

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  3. Self Improvement Ebooks

    Great to know that there are trends in ebook sales, as opposed to steady declines. It can be disconcerting sometimes when you spent considerable time developing a work, only to find that sales may have declined. This was a good read.


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