Ebooks Grew 134% in UK in 2012, up to 12% of Total Market

[Press Release]

Publishing Industry Continues to Grow with Sales of Consumer ebooks rising by 134%

The Publishers Association (The PA) Statistics Yearbook 2012 shows that total consumer ebook sales have continued to rise in 2012, by 134%, reaching £216 million.Total digital sales have risen by 66%, reaching £411 million, and total fiction digital sales went up by 149%, to £172 million.

The total physical and digital sales have grown by 4%, reaching an outstanding £3.3 billion. The digital share of combined physical and digital value sales went up to 12% and the export share of total physical value sales remained level at 41%.

Digital formats (encompassing ebooks, audiobooks downloads and online subscriptions) accounted for 12% of the total invoiced value of sales of books in 2012, with this share rising from 8% in 2011, and from 5% in 2010.

Other notable statistics from the PA Yearbook 2012 include an increase of 4% for the home physical sales of children’s books, up to £233 million, while home physical sales of school books saw a rise of 6%, to £172 million. Total physical sales of fiction books have also grown, by 3% in 2012, leading to sales of £502 million. Physical and digital sales of fiction books combined have risen by 21% to £674 million, and digital sales of non-fiction/reference books have grown by 95% to £42 million.

Richard Mollet, Chief Executive at The Publishers Association, said: “The Publishers Association’s Statistics Yearbook 2012 shows that British publishing is a healthy industry which continues to grow. The continued increase in digital sales across different disciplines illustrates the shift of readers to e-book reading. Such growth has been achieved as British publishers have been able to invest in new exciting, innovative products and in great authors thanks to the strong framework provided by copyright law, which continues to be the cornerstone of stability for a creative industry like publishing.”

Notes to Editors

The PA Statistics Yearbook 2012

The PA’s Statistics Yearbook is the authoritative source of UK publishers’ performance. It is based on a number of surveys: the ongoing Publishers Association Sales Monitor (PASM) data collection scheme, based on data compiled from c.270 publishers representing 78%share of total UK publisher sales; the annual PASM Digital Survey (further details below); plus a one-off Benchmarking Exercise conducted in 2005, which compiled data from approximately 2,240 publishers, representing 100% share of total UK publisher sales.

The companies participating in the PASM Digital Survey now account for around 75% of the total for UK publishers as a whole.

The Publishers Association

The Publishers Association is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Membership comprises 113 companies from across the trade, academic and education sectors. Its core service is representation and lobbying, around copyright, rights and other matters relevant to members, who represent roughly 80% of the industry by turnover. www.publishers.org.uk.

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