BookStats: Ebooks Flat in 2013

Ebook revenue in the U.S. leveled off at $3 billion, according to a new report released today.

The BookStats report, from the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group, confirmed earlier reports from the AAP and anecdotal evidence. Ebook revenue in 2012 was about $3 billion as well, up from $2.1 billion in 2011. The explosive growth experienced in 2012 was thought to be due to the secular trend in rising digital sales and the performance of smash hits like Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games.

The slowdown in growth in 2013 is attributable to an unfavorable comparison with 2012 as well as a declining dedicated e-reader adoption and rising tablet sales.

Trade publishing revenues overall in the U.S. were also basically flat in 2013 at $14.6 billion, down slightly from nearly $15 billion in 2012.

The full BookStats report is available for pre-order.

This edition of BookStats will be the last in the series, which spanned five years; BISG has elected not to continue working with AAP on the project.


One thought on “BookStats: Ebooks Flat in 2013

  1. Robert Gottlieb

    I have been saying all along that the ebook ecosystem although a good one is not the only revenue stream and that authors should be exploiting. Authors should be in all the business revenue streams they can in order to generate sales.

    That is how a good business is run. It means that when there is a slowdown in one stream or the stream is flat that the others pick up the slack. Growth is essential for authors as the market is very competitive.

    This is also why it is so important that authors hold on to world English and translation rights along with audio. These are also valuable income streams. Trident has the largest and most successful foreign rights department in the agency industry in North America that is dedicated to authors. Our audio sales are unmatched in the publishing industry.

    The Trident Media Group is a very big proponent of the eBook space. Our Ebook Team continues to grow our client’s businesses in that format and space while also supporting and working with traditional publishers in the ebook space them when they have ebook rights to our client’s works.

    Many publishers have made the pivot and are improving their sales in the ebook format/space and doing it with a greater level of innovation then four or five years ago. They have the assets and business relationships to do so that individual authors lack in general.

    Central to being a successful agency is knowing how to not only manage an author’s career in the publishing environment today but to lead with new ideas and innovation in the market place. That takes leadership, commitment of resources and thoughtful management of the client’s business. That way you get the best results possible in a challanging market place.

    Robert Gottlieb
    Trident Media Group, LLC
    A Literary Agency
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