The overall US publishing market contracted 2.5% to $27.2Billion down from $27.9 in 2011 however the results suggest changes in the product mix or general deflationary pricing since volume was up 3.4% year on year.
Naturally a highlight of the study remains the growth of eBooks in trade and the study points to the general acceptance of buyers of Trade Adult Fiction to the eBook format. According to the report fully 30% of revenues are now in eBook format and this is now the dominant format for buyers. Overall the report compiles data from over 1900 publishers in for sectors: Trade (fiction and non-fiction for adults and children), School/K-12, Higher Education and Professional/Scholarly Publishing.
More from the press release:
- In the overall Trade sector (encompassing Fiction and Non-Fiction for Children, Young Adults and Adults), e-books’ net sales revenue more than doubled in 2011 vs. 2010. This significant growth was particularly fueled by e-books’ performance in the Adult Fiction segment where, for the first time, they ranked #1 in net revenue among all individual print and electronic formats.
- Among categories, both Religion and Children’s/Young Adults showed strong growth while Children’s/YA ranked as the fastest-growing category in publishing in 2011.
- Despite the negative impact of Borders’ bankruptcy and closures, particularly on print book sales, through three quarters of 2011, the Trade market held up equal with 2010 revenue figures, even showing a slight increase.
The growth of E-Book
- Brick-and-mortar retail remained the #1 sales distribution channel for publishers in 2011, as it did in 2010. Publishers’ revenue from direct-to-consumer sales nearly doubled, topping $1 billion for the first time.
The e-book phenomenon continued through 2011, attributable to the ongoing popularity of e-readers, tablets, and other devices as well as publishers’ strategic production, distribution and marketing of content in all e-formats.
In the overall Trade sector, publishers’ net sales revenue from e-books more than doubled: from $869 million, or 6% of Trade net revenues, in 2010 to $2.074 billion, or 15% of net revenues, in 2011. Units more than doubled as well: 125 million e-books sold in 2010, representing 5% of the Trade sector, grew to 388 million e-books, representing 15.5%, in 2011. While e-books showed increasing strength, the combined print formats (including Hardcover, Trade Paperback and Mass-Market Paperback) still represented the majority of publishers’ net revenue in the Trade sector at $11.1 billion for 2011.
Within the Trade sector’s Adult Fiction category, records were broken as e-books became the dominant single format there in terms of net revenue for calendar year 2011 with 30% of total net publisher dollar sales. In 2010, e-books had ranked fourth among the individual print and electronic categories with 13% share. Adult Fiction e-book revenue for 2011 was $1.27 billion, growing by 117% from $585 million in 2010. This translated to 203 million units, up 238% from 85 million in 2010. Similar to the broader overall Trade sector, the combined print formats also represented the majority of publishers’ revenue in the Adult Fiction category, at $2.84 billion.
Overall industry numbers
Despite the prolonged impact of the Borders bankruptcy (particularly on orders of print format books) but buoyed by continuing popularity of e-books, publishers net sales revenue for the Trade sector was $13.97 billion for 2011 as compared to $13.90 for 2010. This was an increase of 0.5%.
The overall total U.S. book market (representing all commercial, entertainment, educational, professional, and scholarly sectors) declined just 2.5%, from $27.9 billion in 2010 to $27.2 billion in 2011. While overall net revenue was down, overall units were up 3.4%, from 2.68 billion in 2010 to 2.77 billion in 2011.
The Children’s/Young Adult category saw the highest year-over-year, increasing 12% from $2.48 billion to $2.78 billion. One factor was the enormous popularity of several blockbuster releases from publishers, particularly in YA Fiction. Religious books rebounded in 2011 after a decline in 2009 with its growth reflecting the category’s digital transition as well as success of several major titles.
Sales distribution channels
Despite the Borders bankruptcy resulting in the closure of more than 500 stores in 2011, brick-and-mortar retail again ranked as the #1 sales channel for publishers in 2011: net revenue was $8.59 billion, representing 31.5% of total net dollar sales. This was, however, a decline of 12.6% from 2010
This year, it was followed by:
A notable highlight in BookStats 2012: direct-to-consumer sales by publishers nearly doubled in revenue and topped $1 billion for the first time. In 2011, publishers saw $1.11 billion in direct-to-consumer dollars, growing from $702 million in 2010 – an increase of 58%.
- Institutional sales (including sales to libraries, businesses, government, schools, and other organizations): $5.39 billion or 20%.
- Online retail: Reflecting broader national trends in consumer purchasing, revenue from sales through online retail grew 35% from 2010 ($3.72 billion) to $5.04 billion in 2011. This channel, which represented 13% of total publisher net dollars in 2010, grew to 18.5% of the total in 2011.
- Wholesalers/jobbers: Publishers’ revenues were $5.04 billion (18% of total) from this channel, which serves independent booksellers and mass merchants among other retailers.