Digital fiction book sales value soars

By Hannah Jordan, Tuesday 18 September 2012

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The total value of digital fiction book sales increased 188% year-on-year in the first half of 2012, but printed book sales value declined by 0.4%.

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Book sales value down 0.4% year-on-year

The latest Publishers Association Sales Monitor figures reveal an overall growth of 89.1% in digital sales, from £77m to £145m, between January and June 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

However printed book sales fell 0.4% by value from £985m to £982m over the same period while actual numbers decreased 3.8% from 260m to 251m, the figures show.

Other strong growth areas with the digital arena include children’s books and non-fiction publications which increased by 171% and 128% respectively in the first half of 2012. During the same period overall sales of all digital general consumer titles rose from £30m to £84m.

The latest Sales Monitor, which is based on data from around 250 UK publishers, also showed that the total value of digital and non-digital sales saw a 6.1% uplift compared to the first half of 2011 and accounted for a total revenue of £1.1bn between January and June.

Despite the decline in printed book sales value Publishers Association chief executive Richard Mollet said the figures were a positive reflection of the state of the British publishing market.

He added: "The British publishing continues to perform strongly despite difficult economic conditions.

"In particular, the huge increase in digital sales shows how rapidly readers and publishers are embracing e-book reading. Whether books are enjoyed physically or electronically, publishers will continue to invest in exciting authors and titles."

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