January 26, 2022

Statistics: Ebook Sales Made Up 22.5% of U.S. Trade Publisher Revenues in 2012

Jeremy Greenfield at Digital Book World reports on some new numbers released today by the Association of American Publishers.

He Writes:

The books are closed on 2012, so to speak, when it comes to tracking book sales; and ebooks made big gains, according to the latest data from the Association of American Publishers. At the same time, Dec. was not a month of strong ebook growth.

The format accounted for nearly 23% of publisher net revenues in 2012, up from 17% in 2011 and, astoundingly, 1% in 2008. Ten years ago, in 2002, the first year that the AAP measured the size of the ebook market, revenues from digital book sales accounted for 0.05% of the overall take.


Children’s ebooks were up 120% in 2012 to $233 million, driven by huge gains in the beginning of the year, perhaps due in part to the success of titles like The Hunger Games. Religious ebooks closed out the year up 20% to $57 million, a disappointing finish to what had been a red-hot start.

Read the Complete DBW Article

Overall E-Book Sales Percentages (U.S. Trade Publishers) via AAP:

2002: .005% Total Share of Net Revenue
2006: .50%    Total Share of Net Revenue
2008: 1.18%  Total Share of Net Revenue
2009: 3.17%  Total Share of Net Revenue
2011: 16.97% Total Share of Net Revenue
2012: 22.55% Total Share of Net Revenue

AAP Points Out:

Since the extent and categories of publishers reporting data, the definitions of formats and the methodology of the surveys themselves have evolved and sharpened so dramatically over the past decade, the annual results can’t be directly compared. But it’s possible to view them on an anecdotal level.

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.