The Association of American Publishers released a report today that shows that ebooks have beaten hardcover revenues for the first time. Ebook revenues topped out at $282.3 million YTD while hardcovers hit $229.6. Almost exactly a year ago the tables were turned with ebooks hitting $220 million and hardcovers brushing past $335 million.
The only growth in hardcovers is in the young adult/children’s category where hardcover revenue rose to $187.7 million and children’s ebooks rose to $64.3 million, up from $3.9 million in 2011.
In short, ebooks are winning.While Children’s/Young Adult physical format Hardcover and Paperback both saw strong double-digit growth (68.9% and 61.9% respectively), AAP’s first monthly data on Children’s/YA eBooks showed a massive +475.1% increase from 2011 to 2012. Some publishers have attributed this to the availability of more options for devices aimed at those demographics as well as a number of popular new releases.
The AAP surveyed 1149 publishers to gather their data and found that total trade revenue rose 27.1% over the past year. Considering most of those sales were ebooks, it’s clear that the old adage of medium being the message is lost on most book buyers. In fact, the medium is clearly immaterial when it comes to long form fiction and non-fiction.
Given that Ikea is even reducing the size of its shelves to reflect the lack of interest in printed books, you’d better stock up now before this stuff goes the way of vinyl, 8-tracks, and the merkin.