Ebook sales across U.S. trade publishing were up 12.8% in January versus the same period last year, mostly due to a jump in children’s and young adult sales, according to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers.
Ebooks in that category had $20.7 million in sales for the month, versus $12.5 million a year ago, a 65% increase. The increase is likely due to the success of the Divergent series (by Veronica Roth, HarperCollins), which has been at the top of the ebook best-seller list nearly all year.
Adult ebook sales were also up in January, to $116 million from $109 million, a 6.4% increase. Religious ebook sales also increased 22.5% to $5 million for the month.
Overall, ebook sales in the U.S. trade publishing industry in the month were $141.7 million and made up 25.8% of all trade sales.
The increase in ebook sales should be welcome news to ebook publishers, who saw sales of ebooks flatten in 2013 in stark contrast with prior years when they had risen considerably. In 2013, ebooks accounted for $1.3 billion in revenue, up 3.8% from $1.25 billion in 2012.
At the same time, ebooks represented 27% of overall trade revenue in 2013, so they did not grow commensurate with the rest of the trade in January 2014.