Online Book Purchases Bringing in More Money For American Publishers Than Sale From Physical Bookstores

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By Sovan Mandal | July 3, 2014 10:28 AM EST

Sale of books from online channels is bringing in more money for book publishers in the US than traditional bookstores, a new report from two publishing trade groups - Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group - revealed. The report according to Engadget, though does not come as a surprise as brick and mortar book stores have been finding it hard for quite some time now to keep themselves relevant in a fast changing environment with consumers showing more preference towards online book purchases. Sale of digital copies of books has been fueled by strong growth of tablet and smartphones devices as well as ebook readers.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to sign copies of her book "Hard Choices" at a Barnes & Noble book store in Los Angeles, California June 19, 2014.

However, in what can be considered as a consolation for publishers, traditional books have not been wiped out completely as many had thought it would a few years ago. Paperbacks may have fewer takers right now though they continue to be relevant for many. This has also been reflected in the report released last Thursday that revealed paperback to be more popular in the US even in the face of a rise in ebook sales in 2013. eBook sales rose 10.1 per cent that's worth about $512.7 million.  

Another interesting revelation in the report is that publisher revenue remained almost flat in spite of more ebook sales. In fact, there has been a 0.7 per cent drop in revenue for publishers, which makes one to believe there has been discounts and price cuts galore to lure in more buyers. Online sale of ebooks raked in $7.54 billion for publishers while the same from brick and mortar stored has been a slightly lower $7.12 billion.

Overall, it's a quite staggering $27.01 billion that the publishing industry generated in 2013, with it being 2.59 billion units in volume terms. As for the general trend of the readers, its Adult Non-Fiction segment that has seen the biggest growth, surpassing even Children's and Young Adult section that has been the biggest grosser for the past two years in a row. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson / )
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to sign copies of her book "Hard Choices" at a Barnes & Noble book store in Los Angeles, California June 19, 2014.
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