The overall growth of the publishing industry is being fueled by the sale of ebooks. Figures released by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), show that trade books accounted for $15 billion in revenue in 2012. This was an increase of 6.9% from the previous year. Trade publications are fiction and non-fiction books for adults, young adults and children. This does not include text books or scholarly volumes.
Ebooks made up about one in five of the books sold. This generates about $3 billion in sales; approximate a fifth of all trade publishing sales. That is an increase of 44.2% from 2011. One of the biggest movers in this increase was in the sales of children’s and young adult fiction. That sector jumped up 117% to $469 million. Nevertheless, adult fiction is still the predominate producer of sales in this category. It accounted for $1.8 billion in revenue.
Contrary to what some thought, e-books are not taking away from hardcover and trade paperback revenue. That concern has been put to rest. The sale of mass market paperbacks , which are often published much later than their hardback counterparts and sold mostly in more traditional retail outlets like department stores, have been negatively affected however. On the other hand, hardcover sales rose 1.3% to $5.1 billion, while trade paperbacks were up 0.4% to $4.9 billion.
Looking at the big picture, the increase in the trade publishing market was assisted greatly by many strong releases, particularly in the romance genre. There is no question at all that the rising popularity of ebooks was a big factor in growth as well. Considering the number of retail bookstores that closed in 2012, these numbers are even more impressive.
There is a growing trend in ebooks sales and it appears that this will last for the foreseeable future. Devices for reading ebooks have increased in sales as well. For writers, ebooks should not be overlooked.