Stats on sales and publishing always lag. The Association of American Publishers show that the Big Five publishers’ eBook revenues continue to decline for the first half of 2016—data for the second half will most likely come out in the May 2017 timeframe.
Overall revenues were down 3.4% in the first half of the year, and more specifically trade revenues were down 1.1%.
What formats are selling? Hardback sales grew one percent; paperback sales rose by 8.8% and sales of audiobooks increased by a whopping 32.3%.
It’s a continued “oh-oh” for eBook revenues.
According to the AAP, publishers’ eBook revenues fell by 20%, to $579.5 million.
Here’s its press release:
Publishers’ revenues (sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.) were down 3.4% for the first half of 2016 vs. the same period in 2015. The greatest percentage gains from the first half of the year came from Religious Presses, up 10.4%.
While revenue for Trade Books grew 6.7% in June, the gains were not enough to counter declines from earlier in the year, and the overall category declined 1.1% in the first half of 2016.
“After a tough first quarter – with trade sales down 7.4% from the prior year – second quarter sales have bounced back with 4.6% growth. Sales of adult, children’s and religious books all increased in the second quarter due to a mix of factors including movie tie-ins, a diversity of titles from small and midsize presses, and religious presses recovering from a tough 2015,” said Tom Allen President and CEO of AAP.
- For the first half of the year, sales in all tracked categories were down 3.4% to $5.37 billion vs. the same six months in 2015. Tracked categories include Trade – fiction/non-fiction/religious, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.
- Publishers’ book sales for June 2016 in all tracked categories were $1.46 billion, down 4.7% from June 2015.
- In the first half of 2016, compared to the first half of 2015, trade sales were down 1.1% to $3.03 billion:
- Adult Books had $2.11 billion in sales, down 2.8%
- Childrens/YA Books had $689.3 million in sales, up 0.9%
- Religious Presses had $222.4 million in sales, up by 10.4%
Trends for Trade by Format
- In the first half of 2016 vs. 2015:
- Paperback books grew 8.8% to $1.01 billion
- Downloaded audio grew 32.3% to $126.7 million
- Hardback books grew 0.9% $989.7 million
- eBooks were down 20.0% to $579.5 million
- Interesting trends in June:
- June 2016 had an unusually high percentage of growth in religious presses’ Paperback Books, which are up 54.6% compared to June 2015; the whole category has grown 16.8% over the past half year vs. 2015.
- June was also a month of incredible growth for downloaded audio, with 51.7% more revenue than June 2015.
- In June eBooks had their slightest monthly decline in over a year, down only 9.7%.
What’s that mean for you? It means that you publish in multiple formats. Those who thought that offering a solo eBook because it’s cheaper to create have made a humongous mistake. The print is doing just fine, thank you. An audio should be on your creation format. It’s a New Year … what’s going to be on your plate?
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35 was published this summer: The How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos. Get your copy now.
Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2017, the dates are June 22-24th. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU – Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow .
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Author U is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the author who wants to be seriously successful. Monthly education programs delivered face-to-face and online, The Author Resource ezine, BookCamps and the annual Author U Extravaganza are tools designed for authors pre, during and post publishing of their books. Join AuthorU.org today.
If you are looking for FREE author and book coaching … call in to Judith’s Author Monday Mornings at NOON Eastern each Monday. The number is 218-632-9854; Access Code 1239874444 … have your questions ready–there’s a full hour to ask and listen