According to the latest StatShot report from the Association of American Publishers (AAP), ebook sales remained down 12.7 percent through November 2015, compared to the same 11-month period (Jan.-Nov.) in 2014. Additionally, Adult ebooks saw a 7.3-percent decline compared to that same timeframe.
There are several reasons why the StatShot data has reflected a decline in ebooks, explained Marisa Bluestone, AAP’s director of communications.
“The bulk of the ebook decline is coming from Children/YA Books, which has seen a 43.7-percent decrease compared to the first 11 months of 2014,” Bluestone said. “This year is competing against 2014, when Childrens/YA had several blockbuster hits, including the Divergent series. When ebooks first appeared, their growth was exponential. While there are many who are still discovering e-readers, I don’t think we’ll get back to the levels of tremendous growth from five years ago. But ebooks enjoy good market share, and are here to stay.”
Other trade formats that saw a decline in sales included educational materials and professional/scholarly publishing.
In education, revenues for preK-12 instructional materials were down 4.4 percent, and higher education course materials were down 7.7 percent through November. Sales for university presses fell by 1.8 percent year-over-year.
In professional publishing (business, medical, law, scientific, and technical books and journals), sales were down 4.7 percent for the year-to-date.
Sales for digital audio and paperback books, however, grew. For Adult Books, digital audio grew by 40.3 percent and paperback by 16.1 percent. Across all trade categories, these formats were up 37.1 percent and 13.7 percent compared to 2014. Furthermore, religious presses grew by 10.2 percent.
In general, the AAP report shows a 1.2-percent growth for publishers’ overall book sales for trade (consumer) books from January to November. The majority of sales growth came from Adult Books.
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