Ebook Sales Statistics Compared to Traditional Book Sales

How do ebook sales stack up against other books, including audio sales? We can compare how one edition sells versus others by going to Amazon.com. Below are the sales rankings for The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown which was published in March of 2003. (Keeping reading for up-to-date sales comparisons. After updating this article, I chose to keep the earlier data as a basis for comparison of how the ebook industry has grown.) The lower the number the better. This means the hardcover edition is selling best. As you can see, sales statistics for ebooks are a strong second. This is excellent news for ebook publishers. And remember, these are sales statistics for a fiction book, not a how-to, which traditionally makes a stronger selling ebook.

Hardcover Book Sales: 1
EBook for Pocket PC: 3
EBook for Adobe Reader: 179
Audio CD: 318
Audio Cassette: 1,126
Mass Market Paperback: 1,575
Large Print for the visually impaired: 1,918

The conclusion? Ebook sales are better than all other editions, except hardcover.

Here's another example: Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand was ranked 13th in sales for the $12 ebook and 32nd for the $18 hardcover edition of the book.

According to Dan Poynter's newsletter, Publishing Poynters, "for January through May 2003, eight Association of American Publisher member companies reported an aggregate sales increase of 183% over sales during the sameperiod last year." The source of this quote: Pat Schroeder, AAP President & CEO.

ebook sales

Another thing to consider when deciding whether to publish your book in physical form or as an ebook:

John Huenefeld says shipping books costs 7% to 14% of sales depending upon whether most of the books go out in single packages or by the carton.

Current figures for ebook sales indicate that the time to get busy writing your ebook is NOW!


That said, what are the most current sales statistics?

In August of 2012, Amazon reported that sales of Kindle books (ebooks that display properly on the Amazon Kindle Fire) have surpassed the sales of paperback books. This report was published by Amazon's UK site that states, "for every 100 paper books sold, 114 books are downloaded." In fact, users currently buy more Kindle books than paperback and hardcopy books combined.

Another important trend is that readers who have a Kindle ebook reader purchase 4x the number of books than they did before they had the reader. This is because it's so easy to browse books from the comfort of home and download them. Also, in many cases, the cost of books are lower.

In the U.S., Mashable reported that U.S.-based publishers (and yes, that includes self-publishers, like you and me) are making more income from Kindle ebook sales than from printed books.

To give you an idea of the numbers in the first quarter of 2012, ebooks geared toward adults brought in almost $230 million dollars. For 2012, ebooks approached almost $1 Billion dollars in sales. This doesn't include ebooks geared for children, which is also a quickly growing market.

Isn't time that you got a share of this pie?

To learn more, read our article about how to make money selling ebooks online (whether you're selling a book you have written or making a commission from selling someone else's book). Also refer to the articles below.

Recommended Articles

Sell Ebook - Sell Your Book on Amazon as an Ebook

Ebook Covers - Creating a Stunning Ebook Cover for Your Book

Ebook Sales Statistics

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