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US ebook sales decline but audio downloads boom

30 October 2017

Newly released figures show that ebook revenues in the US have declined again. In the first half of 2017, e-book sales declined by 4.6%, according to the Association of American PublishersThe national trade association of the American book publishing industry; AAP has more than 300 members, including most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. All other categories, apart from paperback books saw increased revenues in the same time period.

Paperback sales continued their gradual decline by 1.8%, presumably attributable both to book buyers opting for hardbacks at one end of the spectrum and ebooks at the other.

The more cheering aspect of the figures is that hardbacks are up 9.7% - a substantial amount - and audio is also doing well, although it's download audio which is attracting the sales with the value up an astonishing 32%.

So consumers seem to be opting for more listening to books and more buying them as hardbacks, where the book's values as an object - and also buying it when it's new - are factors. The really good news is that books sales are up.

If you want to delve into the tables, the figures can be found on the Association of American Publishers website.