E-books sales do not appear to be immune from the impact of bestsellers. According to AAP’s monthly StatShot report, adult e-books rose only 4.8% in the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, hitting $647.7 million. E-book sales in June fell 8.7%, to $108.6 million. Earlier this year, Random House acknowledged that its e-book sales in the period fell, due to the strong digital sales of the Fifty Shades trilogy in the first half of 2012. Fifty Shades also impacted trade paperback sales which fell 11.5% in the period at publishers that report to AAP, to $635.1 million. Adult hardcover sales were up 7.4% in the first six months, to $580.7 million.
In other segments in the first six months of 2013 sales in the children’s/young adult group fell 22.1%, hurt by comparisons to the Hunger Games, while sales of religious press rose 0.6%. Sales in the professional books category dropped 3.8%, but rose 5.3% in the university press segment. Sales of K-12 materials rose 1.6% in the period, while sales of higher educational course materials fell 7.4%.
Figures are based on responses from 1,196 publishers.