AAP Finds e-Books, Audio Books Continue to Grow

NEW YORK—March 18, 2011—e-books and downloadable audio books continue to grow in popularity according to the January 2011 sales report of the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Figures for the first month of 2011 show that e-Book net sales increased by 115.8 percent vs. January 2010 (from $32.4 million to $69.9 million). Sales of downloadable audio books rose by 8.8 percent compared to the previous year ($6 million to $6.5 million).

As AAP reported last month in its December 2010 monthly report and full 2010 analysis, e-Book sales have increased annually and significantly in all nine years of tracking the category.

Among the other highlights of the January 2011 report:

● Total books sales on all platforms, in all categories, hit $805.7 million for January. This was a slight drop from January 2010’s $821.5 million sales (-1.9 percent).

● Adult hardcover category fell from $55.4 million to $49.1 million (-11.3 percent), adult paperback dropped from $104.2m to $83.6 (-19.7 percent) and adult mass market declined from $56.4m to $39.0 (-30.9 percent)

● In the children’s/young adult category, hardcover sales were $31.2 million in January 2011 vs $31.8 million in January 2010 (-1.9 percent) while paperbacks were $25.4 million, down 17.7 percent from $30.9 million in January 2010.

● Physical audio books sales were $7.3 million vs. $7.9 million the previous year (-6.7 percent).

● Sales of religious books grew by 5.6 percent, from $49.8 million to $52.6 million.

● Sales in the higher education category were $382.0 million for January 2011, a slight drop (-1.4 percent) from $387.6 million the previous year. K-12 sales hit $82.6 million for the month vs. $97.0 million for the previous year (-14.9 percent).

● In Professional and Scholarly Books, sales grew 1.3 percent, from $51.2 million to $51.8 million. Sales of University Press Hardcovers were $3.9 million in January 2011 vs. $4.5 million the previous year (-14.0 percent) while university press paperbacks were $6.2 million vs. $6.7 million (-7.8 percent).