Sales of ebooks in the UK have continued to grow in the early part of 2014, even as ebook sales growth has tapered in the U.S.
Ebook sales are up 10.5% in the UK through the first four months of 2014 versus the same period last year. In the U.S., ebook sales are up 5.1% through the first three months of the year, but sales growth lagged behind other formats; growth overall was driven by the success young adult titles like Veronica Roth’s Divergent series (HarperCollins) and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (Penguin Random House).
Digital Growth continues for Publishers
–Digital sales up 10.5% in 2014—
The Publishers Association Digital Sales Monitor April 2014 released today reveals that digital sales have continued to increase across the industry.
Digital sales increased from £119.9m from January-April 2013 to £132.5m in the same period this year, a rise of 10.5%. This continues the increasingly strong performance of the digital formats which in 2013 represented 16% of total book sales, and has grown a massive 305% over the past five years.
Rather than being driven by one aspect of the industry, digital growth has seen very similar performances in both the consumer and educational/professional sector. In the consumer sector there was a10% rise in 2014 to £81m, while in the educational/professional sector sales increased 11% to £51m.
The growth in sales was also spread across all recorded categories. In the consumer sector digital sales of fiction increased 8%, with a 10% rise in sales of adult non-fiction. Digital sales of children’s titles meanwhile enjoyed a particularly strong performance, with a 33% rise.
In the educational/professional sector the largest growth was seen in Scientific Technical and Medical (STM) books, where sales increased by 16%, however, there were also strong performances by schools/English Language Teaching (ELT) sales which grew 14%, and social sciences/humanities which saw an 11% rise.
The PADSM also recorded growth across the digital formats. While consumer ebook sales rose in line with overall sales, recording a 10% increase from £71.3m to £78.6m, the fastest growing digital format in the consumer sector was audiobook downloads which increased 22% to £2.6m. In the educational/professional sector ebooks sales rose 7.5% to £17.6m, while online subscriptions increased saw a sharp rise of 17% to £30m.
Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association said “The Publishers Association Digital Sales Monitor shows the continuing development and growth of digital publishing in the UK. Increases in digital sales in both consumer and non-consumer sectors shows how publishing as an industry has embraced digital technology and continued its strong track record of innovation and service delivery.”
The Publishers Association
The Publishers Association is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Membership comprises 114 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.
The PA Digital Sales Monitor
The PA Digital Sales Monitor report provides data on sales of digital books split by both category and format.
In total, data from companies estimated to represent c75% of total UK publisher digital sales are included in the analysis and in 2014, to supplement the quarterly collection/reporting of print and digital sales, digital sales are being collected on a monthly basis.
Note that neither the figures in the Yearbook nor this analysis include sales from Amazon publishing, self-published authors or other new, digital-only companies.