Is Ebook Revenue Growth Stalling Out?

shutterstock_90071941Ebook revenue gains continue to slow this year. The latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers reveal that ebook revenue was up only 0.7% to $130.2 million in January.

Noteworthy declines in the market include the young adult category, which was down to $14.4 million, a decrease of 36.2%. And, religious ebooks also experienced a decline for the month, a 13.8% decline.

Growth may be slowing in the ebook market. But the news is far from dire. For 2013 so for, ebooks account for nearly 25% of publisher revenue.

Read more.

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Adult Ebook Sales Up Only 10% YOY (PubLunch)
According to monthly sales statistics for January from AAP’s StatShot, adult ebook sales came in at $110.1 million. This low growth confirms that digital book sales over the holiday didn’t give the industry the same lift it saw in 2012.

Students, Professors Still Not Yet Ready for Digital Textbooks (DBW)
The latest data from Bowker Market Research shows that the percentage of students using digital textbooks has remained flat over the past few semesters. In yesterday’s DBW webcast Carl Kulo of Bowker clarified, “Students aren’t resisting digital….It’s extremely critical in their daily lives. But they are seeing more learning and monetary value in print textbooks.”

HTML5, The Future — And Now — of Publishing (DBW)
The chief technology officer of, Nick Ruffilo, weighs in on the benefits of HTML5. Ruffilo goes on to point out that all of the major ebook software companies (Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo, etc.) accept EPUB3, which is HTML5 at its core.

Simon & Schuster Partners With Shindig for Online Events (DBW)
The partnership will allow YA readers to engage with authors via large-scale video chat events. The chats are scheduled for June and July.

Random House: Experimenting With New E-Cookbooks (DBW)
The publisher is seeing that creatively enhanced ebooks are increasing in sales and is experimenting with cookbooks that email users ingredient lists and more.

Audible Ends $1 Honoraria Program (PaidContent)
The service will no longer give authors $1 for each sale made through, and iTunes. Participating authors received an email yesterday, stating that June is the final month of the Audible Author Services program.

The Apple Ebook Trial, Day 5 (PaidContent)
Emails from News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch were presented as exhibits for the government. Also, Macmillan CEO John Sargent testified, “Typically one party controls price, and one party controls availability. Amazon wanted both. And we were going to force them to choose one or the other.’”

It’s Early in the Digital Transition (Pub Perspectives)
The Literary Consultancy hosted the Writing in a Digital Age Conference last week in north London. In this recap of events author Audrey Niffenegger is quoted as saying that ebooks “will be gorgeous, but right now…It’s a bit like the early printed Bibles after Gutenberg which they tried to make look like the hand-illuminated ones.”

Small-Press Author Calls Ebook Prices “Too High” (TeleRead)
Author Phil Geusz opts not to self publish but instead benefits from the services of several small publishers. Those publishers price his ebooks at or under $2.99. And, he has found that nearly all his ebook sales come via Amazon.

The Late Iain M. Banks on Ebooks (TeleRead)
Sci-Fi author Iain M. Banks commented on the opportunity that digital books present for the publishing industry. And, he reminded us that, “No technological change ever necessarily signals the end of the earlier version.”

Digital Storytelling Leads to Comic for Readers Without Eyesight (Daily What)
A tactile print comic uses raised circles to tell a story. While developing the innovative text, Phillipp Meyer experimented digitally. You can interact a bit with the digital prototype on the designer’s website.

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Image Credit: growth-decline image via Shutterstock

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About DeannaUtroske

Deanna Utroske is the Content Producer at Digital Book World and an active member of New York Women in Communications, where she serves on the Integrated Marketing & Communications Committee. Previously, Deanna worked in the editorial office of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, a publication of the University of Chicago Press.


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