Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Publishing Stats

After writing last week’s blog about the future of publishing, I came across some interesting statistics. An article in Publishers Weekly stated that Amazon executives claim their physical book business rose by double digits for the first half of 2010. They also state that amazon’s media segment, which includes books and e-books, rose 15% in the second quarter of the year. How much of that percentage is e-books versus videos and other forms of media wasn’t specified in the article. Regardless of what amazon is selling, it appears to be doing well as they’ve opened thirteen new fulfillment centers this year. To read the whole article go to

The American Association of Publishers issued an interesting press release on July 14th stating that books sales were up 11.6% compared to this time last year. The adult hardcover category was up 43.2% in May and sales to date are up by 21.7%. Oddly enough, adult paperback sales decreased 2.2% for May, but are up 15.7% on the year so far. Adult mass market book sales decreased 14.6% and were down by 7.3% on the year. Why sales have risen on more expensive books compared to the much cheaper mass market paperback isn’t explained in the release and is a complete mystery to me.

Not surprisingly, e-book sales grew 162.8% for the month of May and are up a whopping 207.4% on the year to date. AAP’s data estimates that e-book sales now comprise 8.48% of the total trade books market, compared to only 2.89% for the same period last year. To read the entire release go to

What does all this mean for the future of publishing? Based on this snapshot, print books are not out of the running by any means, but the e-book market is catching up fast. One can only imagine what the e-book market share will be this time next year.

As always, my amateur sleuth, Vancouver-based, Alex Bellamy mysteries can be purchased at

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