October 1-15, 2003 Edition

HOME:   Survey Reports 30 Percent

Gain in E-Book Sales

NEW YORK, NY/9/19/03—On the heels of’s announcement that it would no longer offer e-books for sale on its site, the trade association, Open E-book Forum, says overall e-book revenues have risen 30 percent in 2003—mainly to libraries and school systems.

The report, E-book and E-Document Publishing and Retail Statistics, is based on data from an online OeBF survey of 34 publishers and retailers.

The OeBF survey reports a total of 660,991 e-books were sold industry-wide in the first six months of 2003, a 40 percent increase over the number of titles sold for the comparative period in 2002. There were a total of 938,469 e-books sold industry-wide for the entire year of 2002. E-book revenues for the first two quarters of 2003 are reported to be nearly $5 million, a 30 percent increase over the same period in 2002. The OeBF projects sales of more than $10 million for the full year 2003, a substantial boost over 2002 sales of $7.8 million.

Figures from the Association of American Publishers show roughly the same gains for July through September 2003. The AAP reports e-book sales of about $2.9 million for the year 2003 to date, compared to about $1 million in 2002. The AAP survey is based on sales from about eight prominent trade publishers, including Random House, S&S, FSG, HarperCollins, and St. Martin’s. The OeBF respondents included the major houses plus several smaller publishers.