Like the figures for May, all major print categories are down, while e-books continue to surge. But the headline figure this month is that trade paperback sales, which are usually reasonably robust, have just collapsed.
The figures in the table below are in millions of dollars. You should note that this month there are just 78 houses reporting print data and only 15 reporting e-data, so the usual caveats apply (although the trends are clear and confirmed from other sources).
|FORMAT||JUNE 2010||JUNE 2011||CHANGE|
|Adult Trade Paperback||133.7||48.4||-63.8%|
|Adult Mass Market PB||60.4||47.4||-21.6%|
The above numbers are direct from the AAP, courtesy of MediaBistro.
You don’t have to stare too hard to see the one growth area there. The trends are more or less what we have seen all year, but that figure for trade paperback is just astonishingly bad. I will be keeping an eye on it to see if it is just a blip.
The obvious worry is that despite the huge growth in e-books, the colossal decline in print numbers means they are losing overall. Big.
I discuss where these readers are going in my regular column for IndieReader called Disruption Is Not A Dirty Word.
Returning to the AAP numbers, we now have six month of data to look at. If you like your analysis graph-shaped, Neil at Ebook Comments does a fine job of plotting all this info any possible way you could imagine.
My abilities are stretched conjuring up a simple table, but here are the total numbers for the first six months of 2011 contrasted against the same period of 2010 (with the same provisos as above, and figures in millions of dollars):
|Adult Trade Paperback||710.1||521.5||-26.6%|
|Adult Mass Market PB||325.2||232.5||-28.5%|
The above table was calculated by adding the five month YTD figures from the AAP last month to this month’s figures. Any errors are my own.
The trends are the most important thing here, rather than the raw revenue numbers as we have some houses not reporting e-figures and an incomplete picture of the industry in general with only a limited amount of houses participating.
It should also be noted that these numbers never include self-publishers whose sales are predominantly digital.
But the trends are clear, tally with what we have seen all year, and are confirmed from other sources such as the limited figures available from Amazon, and print data from Neilsen BookScan.
The conclusion is simple. Print can’t seem to find the bottom while e-book growth is simply phenomenal. And I don’t expect things to alter radically while the figures begin to reflect the full effects of the Borders liquidation.
Does anyone still doubt that e-book dominance is inevitable?
Tomorrow, I’ll have another sneak peek at a chapter from my forthcoming South American historical adventure A Storm Hits Valparaíso.