October 10, 2015

UK: Volume of eBook Purchases Rising But Value of eBook Sales Shrinking

From a BML/ProQuest News Release:

E-book sales are rising to offset a decline in physical book purchases, but only in volume. With the lower price points of e-books versus their print counterparts, the value of book sales is shrinking.”

“The Books & Consumers survey shows that in the 48 weeks ending 27th November 2011, compared to the same period the previous year, British consumers’ purchases of physical books declined by 4%, with value down some 6%. However, with e-book purchases included, the total consumer book market grew very slightly in volume terms, up 0.4%, with a market value drop of 3% overall.

“The survey also looks at how the e-book industry fares by genre. The adult fiction market saw spectacular e-book growth in 2011, up from 2.8% of purchases in the four weeks ending 26th December 2010 to 12.5% in the four weeks to 27th November 2011. But again, as e-books are being bought for lower prices, they accounted for only 7.1% of adult fiction spending in the latest period.


Prices for e-books are climbing slightly, but are still significantly  less than print books. The latest average price for a fiction e-book rose to £3.39, while fiction paperbacks averaged £4.96 and fiction hardbacks averaged more than £7.08.

Older buyers – 60-79 year olds – are outpacing their younger counterparts in the purchase of e-books. They now account for just over a quarter of the e-book market in value terms.

Read the Complete News Release

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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