The Association of American Publishers has just released its report on the 2011 U.S. book market. And the big news is that there is really no big news. As expected, e-book sales are growing while print book sales of hardcovers, paperbacks and mass markets all continue to decline.
The AAP report shows that in 2011, e-book sales were up by 117% from the previous year and brought in an estimated $969.9 million. Another digital publishing category winner in 2011 was audio books. This market saw a sales increase of 25.5% from the year before. However, it’s worth noting that this was only for downloadable audio books. Physical audio book sales fell by just over 8%.
The bad news about falling sales was also true in print sales. The AAP reports that all print formats saw a decline. Adult hardcover sales fell 17.5%, trade paperbacks fell 15.6% and mass-market sales took a huge hit with a 35.9% decrease in sales. But despite the shrinking numbers, print is still king, as the majority of the market’s revenue is made by books in this format. Although the e-book market has grown tremendously, digital downloads were only responsible for 18.6% of net reported trade sales in 2011. So it looks like it will still be some time before digital sales outshine traditional formats completely.
Are you worried about the future of print books or do you believe that this is simply a sign of the times? Let us know in the comments below. And for more Publishing Industry News click here.