According to a report published by the American Association of Publishers , the exponential rise in ebook sales in the last few years did not harm print book sales, on the contrary. The print book sales are also on the increase, albeit considerably less than the ebook sales.
The report covers the difference in ebook sales and print book sales figures between 2010 and 2011 deriving from US publishers exports (US publishers exports are 90% of their sales revenues and target 750 million English readers worldwide). The total US trade publishers’ export sales for 2011 was $357.4 million, a 7.2% increase over 2010 $333.3 million. This reflects more a rise in price per unit than a rise in overall sales volume, as the total unit sales rose only by 0.9%, from 71.3 million units to 71.9 million units.
Now, getting to the relative increase in ebook sales compared to print book sales, the differences become gigantic. At $21.5 million for 2011, a 332.6% increase compared to 2010, ebook sales per unit figures reached 3.4 million, or a 303.3% increase compared to the previous year. Print book sales increase during the same times reached a mere 2.3% with $335.9 million.
These increase in ebook sales and print book sales vary greatly from region to region, as shown by a quick look at the relative regional figures of the most rapidly-growing regions for US publishers
v Continental Europe — 14.7% overall increase in revenue; 218.8% in ebook sales, 9.5% in print book sales
v UK— 22.9% overall year-to-year increase in revenue; 1316.8% in ebook sales, 10.4% in print book sales
v Latin America— 15.4% increase in revenue overall; 201.6% in ebook sales and 9.7% in print book sales
v Africa— 21.9% total increase in revenue; that translated to 636.8% gain in ebook sales and 17.1% in print book sales
UKseems to have taken the lead in adopting ebooks, though this might be partly due to linguistic preferences, as UKresidents are more likely to purchase books in English than their European counterparts who tend to prefer books in their own native language, and these statistics reflect sales by US publishers. Yet,Europe seems to be catching up with digital reading which heralds further increase in sales in the near future.
These statistcs only cover the figures for publishers, not for self-publishers. Statistcs for self-publishers are much harder to come accross, partly because, by definition, self-publishers are not centralised. We advise all writers, authors and aspiring authors and writers to take the survey created by a self-publisher and thus increase our understanding of the self-publisher’s market.