Ebooks Post 41% Gain in 2012

book to ebookThe first set of numbers are in and we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what happened in 2012 when it comes to ebooks. According to the latest stats from the AAP, ebooks accounted for 23% of trade publisher revenues from book sales in 2012. Overall ebook revenues increased 41% year-over-year. Adult nonfiction and fiction, children’s and young adult and religious ebooks amounted to a $1.5 billion business last year.
For most businesses, that kind of increase in revenue over the previous year would be a cause to break out the Dom Perignon. For ebooks, it represents a slowing of growth from years of triple-digit gains.
At the same time, the print business continues to decline. So, how do publishers manage a slowing increase in ebook sales along with the continuing decline in print sales? Very carefully.

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The rest of the day’s top news:
Three Things Publishers Should Consider Amid Slowing Ebook Sales (Forbes)
The digital book business varies from publisher to publisher, but a slowing growth curve across the industry has ramifications for all publishers. Here’s what they should be thinking about right now.
Kyobo Is to Korea as Amazon Is to the U.S.? (GlobalPost)
Korean publishers are complaining that that the dominant ebook retailer in Korea, Kyobo, is charging too little for ebooks, devaluing print books in the process. Sound familiar? A word to the wise, Korean publishers, don’t strike a deal with a new entrant into the marketplace to try to stabilize prices. It might not end well.
Zola Makes Hire With Eye on UK (Pub Lunch)
Zola has hired a director of international business development with the aim of bringing the nascent ebook retailer to the UK and other English-speaking markets.
Discovery to Explore the Future of the Classroom (DBW)
Every publisher that wants to sell digital content into K-12 classrooms had better sit up and pay attention: Discovery will hold a summit on the future of the digital classroom.
HMH Acquires Game Developer (DBW)
Someone’s paying attention: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher of best-sellers like The Life of Pi and children’s classics like Curious George, has acquired Toronto-based game developer Tribal Nova to build its in-house gaming expertise.
F+W Media’s New Fashion Play (DBW)
F+W Media is teaming up with Burda Media to launch Burda Style USA, a States-side extension of the popular fashion sewing brand. (F+W owns Digital Book World, the publishers of this newsletter.)
Libraries Fire Back at Turow (NYT)
Best-selling author Scott Turow is making all sorts of friends with his roundly criticized op-ed in the New York Times from earlier this week. The latest critic: The American Library Association. Related: How the Authors Guild Is Like the NRA and Why Scott Turow Is Wrong About Authors.
ProQuest Library Gift (DBW)
Celebrate National Library Week with ProQuest! The information provider will be offering its tools gratis to librarians April 14 to 20.  
3M Beefs up Cloud Library (DBW)
The multinational has added new features and more titles to its growing library ebook distribution business.
Visualizing the Modern Library (infoDOCKET)
As of 2010, U.S. libraries had over 150 million ebooks in their collections. One wonders how that’s grown in the past two years as demand for ebooks has soared.
Bradbury Goes Digital, Finally (Mediabistro)
Sixteen classics from Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury will be made available as ebooks for the first time.
If Jay-Z Were in Books (The Atlantic Wire)
Media mogul Jay-Z has conquered several branches of the entertainment industry – so why not books next? If he took on the literary world, it might just look at little something like this.

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