Adult Ebook Sales up, Children’s Down in 2013

shutterstock_160596476When you add it all up, sales of ebooks across adult, children’s and religious publishing were down about 1% on the year, but the results are mostly from the nearly 27% decrease in children’s ebook sales in 2013 versus 2012. Blame it on The Hunger Games.

The “good” news for ebook publishers is that adult ebooks were up 3.8% in 2013 to $1.3 billion. It’s positive growth but represents major deceleration of growth in the ebook market. In 2012, ebook growth hit an inflection point. It had ceased accelerating and was up “only” 41%. In 2013, it slowed further.

It remains to be seen whether 2013 is a high water mark for adult ebook sales, which represented 27% of the overall trade book publishing market, up from 23% in 2012. As more time passes and analysts have time to dig into the numbers – and yet more numbers come out about ebook sales in 2013 and beyond – we shall see.

Much more.

To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!

Which Publisher Is Threatening HarperCollins’ Grip on the Best-Seller List? (DBW)
While Divergent and its sequel Insurgent are still Nos. 1 and 2 on this week’s ebook best-seller list, a new title from best-selling author Nora Roberts has spiked to No. 3. Much more.

April Fool’s Day: Penguin UK (
April Fool’s Day has become a big moment for brands and publishers, trying harder than ever to carve out consumer brands for themselves, are getting in on the act. Here, Penguin UK imagines an updated line of classics where all periods are replaced with exclamation points. Why? To appeal to a younger demographic!

April Fool’s Day: Wattpad’s Virtual Reality (Making Things Out of Nothing)
Wattpad founder and CEO Allen Lau had a laugh at our expense yesterday, writing that his company had teamed up with Facebook’s latest acquisition, Oculus, to create a virtual reading goggle contraption, of sorts.

The E-Textbook Debate Gets Grassroots (Elon Pendulum)
Students debate the merits and drawbacks of e-textbooks. They save you money, but they’re not always available, allowed in class, or any good.

College Libraries Call Out Publishers (Times Higher Education)
A consortium of liberal arts college libraries in the U.S. has written an angry scribe to publishers, demanding the ability to buy, use and share ebooks as they please.

Local Ebook Retailer in Malaysia Launches Self-Publishing Portal (Barnama)
E-Sentral, Malaysia’s biggest ebook portal, has launched e-Studio, an authoring tool for ebooks. Local retailers are moving around the world. If the big U.S. (and Canadian-Japanese) ebook retailers want to own the world ebook market, they have to move quickly.

What Questions to Ask in London (Pub Perspectives)
The always-talkative Porter Anderson has the first of many London Book Fair previews. Digital Book World will be there, too. Follow the action of Monday’s Digital Minds conference at

Publishing in Zimbabwe (Pub Perspectives)
While running a successful publishing operation anywhere in the world can be challenging, it might be especially challenging in Zimbabwe. Hear why.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *