May 16, 2022

UK EBook Sales Decrease While Print and Audiobook Sales Increase During 2015

New data from the The Publishers Association (UK).

From ars technica UK:

Last year saw digital book sales in the UK decline by 1.6 percent to £554 million [$795.6 million/USD] —the first time in seven years that numbers have fallen.

However, while e-books might have been somewhat neglected last year, it was a bumper 2015 for audiobook downloads during the same period with sales climbing some 29 percent to £12 million.

That £12 million figure appears to have been stripped out from the £554 million digital book sales notched up last year. Which suggests that Brits spent £542 million on e-books in 2015.

Read the Complete Article

Additional Data From The Publishers Association News Release:

  • Sales of physical books from publishers increased for the first time in four years while digital sales fell for the first time since The PA started collecting figures
  • Export revenues dropped slightly by 3% to £1.42bn with education, academic and ELT (English Language Teaching) accounting for two thirds of this
  • There was particularly strong growth in sales of physical non-fiction/reference books which saw sales increase by 9% to £759m
  • Academic journal publishing also continued strongly up by 5% to £1.1bn with digital revenues accounting for 95% of this
  • School books sales were up overall by 9% to £319m with growth in physical and digital both home and abroad.
  • Audiobook downloads had another good year with 29% growth in 2015.
  • The UK book and journal publishing industry grew by 1.3% from £4.3bn in 2014 to £4.4bn in 2015. These figures represent publisher invoice sales.
  • Physical sales were up by 0.4% to £2,760bn in 2015 from £2,748 in 2014 which was the first rise in four years. Digital sales were down 1.6% to £554m in 2015 from £563m in 2014 which was the first drop in seven years (when such sales were first recorded).
  • Total book export revenues were £1.42bn in 2015 (42% of total books revenues), slightly down from 2014, and a combination of education, academic and ELT (English Language Training) accounted for two thirds of this. Growth was seen in sales to the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and South America.Europe remains UK publishing’s most important export market, accounting for over 35% of physical book export revenues.
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.