The folks at Mediabistro.com reported the American Association of Publishers sales for December 2011 and YTD: “The December report represents data provided by 77 publishers and only sales of the participants are reported. NOTE: All numbers have been rounded to one decimal point and may not add up to 100%”
The key takeaway, I think, is that ebooks will become THE largest book trade category in 2012.
Sales only need to grow 33% to surpass that of adult hardcovers. See the chart below. They already dwarf adult mass market, which took a HUGE hit last year. Sales can’t keep growing at more than 100% year after year. They must eventually slow down. But, given projections, it’s not going to be hard to make 33%. According to the estimates of a Barclays Bank analyst (link below), Amazon will sell an estimated 35 million Kindles and Kindlefires next year. Each owner would only have to purchase $10 worth of books in the year for the segment to grow 33%. And that doesn’t count the sales for the Nook, iphones, ipads, or any other ereaders out there.
This year ebooks become king of the heap.
Media Bistro report of AAP numbers: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/mass-market-paperback-sales-down-nearly-41-in-december_b47625
Barclays analyst project sales of 35 million Kindles and Kindlefires in 2012: http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2012/02/23/amazon-barclays-cuts-kindle-kindle-fire-estimates/