E-books get Brits reading more
Dead tree sales not dead yet
Sales of e-books are soaring in the UK, but they're not yet completely cannibalising sales of dead tree formats.
According to the UK's Publishers' Association (PA) sales of e-book fiction during the first six months of 2012 - before the summer holiday, you'll note - were up 188 per cent on the same period in 2011. Non-fiction sales jumped 128 per cent.
Digital sales of general consumer titles increased from £30 million to £84 million between H1 2011 and H1 2012. Digital sales overall, which incorporates academic and technical publications, went from £77m to £145m, an increase of 89.1 per cent.
The rise more than offset a slight dip in physical book sale revenues, which dipped by less that half a percentage point: 0.4 per cent, from £985 million to £982 million.
The number of dead tree books sold fell more sharply: down 3.8 per cent, from 260 million to 251 million.
The total value of sales of all books - digital and physical - were up by 6.1 per cent between H1 2011 and H1 2012, the PA said, to £1.1 billion. Digital sales accounted for 12.9 per cent of that, up from 7.2 per cent. ®
You might as well ask how many books any year were that year's smash #1. The answer is lots... a few years back it would be the latest Harry Potter novel.
What's your point? Popular stuff sells more?
I suspect that the sales would increase even further if you took the damnable VAT off the ebooks. At the moment I only purchase the books on special offer because I object to paying the 20% government fund increase when I don't have to pay for it on dead-tree specials.
Re: I'll start buying e-books...
"And the expensive stuff such as copy-editing is the same, whatever the format."
Were that they put as much effort into proof reading and quality control. The one "premium" e book I bought (for over £9) was full of formatting errors and typos. It, honestly, looked like they had just OCR'd the paper version.
I love my Kindle
Bought almost on a whim to deal with 2 hour train journeys, it's proved a smash hit.
Especially with a library of free quality (older) books.
I echo the previous posters comments about VAT. It's a great fact to shut up the greenwash brigade.
"many of these were the fifty shades-'o-shite sales?"
I'm curious as to whether you have read the books and disliked them, or whether you fall into the camp of those who feel they have to publicly denounce them (and anything else that reaches popularity) without having read them?
I read them to see what the fuss was about and, although I'm clearly not the target audience, they were alright, they kept me turning the pages. Not as filthy as I had been led to believe, there was plenty of other stuff going on that, while not very believable, was no less believable or entertaining than many books, films and video games for which I would consider myself the target audience.