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E-Book Sales Soar, Traditional Book Sales Fall in 2011

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July 16 – July 22, 2012 Edition E-Book Sales Soar, Traditional Book Sales Fall in 2011 Sales of e-books in 2011 rose to $2.07 billion from $869 million as the number of units sold increased 210% to 388 million, according to BookStats, the annual industry sales survey by the Association of American Publishers and Book Industry Study Group. Meanwhile, total book sales fell 2.5% to $27.2 billion. Overall unit sales, however, increased 3.4%, to 2.77 billion due to higher sales of lower-priced e-books.

The report shows the significant impact e-books made on the adult fiction segment last year. According to BookStats, e-book sales in adult fiction increased 117% to $1.27 billion, representing 30% of segment sales, surpassing the hardcover, trade paperback and mass market paperback formats as the largest single format within adult fiction.

Children’s/young adult where sales rose 12%, to $2.78 billion, making it the fastest-growing trade segment in 2011.

Online retailers experienced a 35% sales increase in 2011, while trade publishers’ sales to brick-and-mortar stores dropped 12.6% to $8.59 billion.

This year’s full BookStats report, available at BISG or AAP, is based on over $16 billion in sales collected directly from reporting publishers.