The Association of American Publishers has just announced that in 2020, ebook sales in the United States increased by 11.7%, and generated 2.12 billion in revenue. This is great news as revenues have been declining since 2014 and it took a global pandemic to bring sales back into the positive net. One of the main reasons people went digital was that most bookstores were closed and the only way to buy content was on their eReaders. Digital audiobooks continued to grow and increased 13.2% from 2019, with estimated revenue of $ 1.42 billion for 2020.
Printed books rose about 6.0% to $ 16.67 billion, and 8.6% of directly reported revenue. What’s interesting about the commerce market is that this is the first time that online retail has accounted for 50% of publishers’ revenue, up from 43.3% in 2019. Across commerce, Direct fell 45.6%. There was an increase in revenues for fiction and non-fiction films for children and young adults, but units fell 9.5% for fictional titles and increased 0.9% for titles non-fiction.
Overall, the entire US publishing industry generated $ 25.71 billion, a slight decrease of 0.2% from revenues of $ 25.77 billion in 2019.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post, and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.