According to the Association of American Publishers, domestic sales of e-books jumped from $166.9 million (3.2% of combined trade sales) in 2009 to $441 million (8.3% of combined trade sales) in 2010. That’s an increase of 164.4% in just one year, and 623% since 2008, when sales were $61.3 million (only 1% of trade sales).
Meanwhile, printed book sales have been steadily decreasing. Kindle content revenues on Amazon.com have overtaken hardcover sales (since July 2010) and paperback sales (as of January 2011). Amazon reports selling 115 Kindle e-books for every 100 paperback books sold since the beginning of the year and up to 180 e-books for every 100 hardcover books.
We believe the e-book market stands to grow dramatically as more and more consumers acquire e-reader devices. A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life project claims that 5% of American adults currently own e-reader devices such as the Kindle, Nook or Sony Reader. These devices appear to be most popular among baby boomers, with 7% between the ages of 47 and 56 and 6% aged 66 to 74 owning them. However, since many people read e-books on their smartphones, tablets and computers, these figures vastly underestimate the total number of people who read e-books.
Speaking of which, here’s a quick tip: Did you know that much of the downloadable free e-book content available here at BookRix in the ePub format can be uploaded to and read on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch using the Stanza e-reading app?