June was not a pretty month for print sales. I've read before that Borders represented close to half of paperback sales and judging from the cliff-fall in Adult paperback, that was indeed the case. Total print trade sales are down $120 million per month from the prior year trend. With AAP ebook sales only at $80 million, we're talking about an 11% drop in gross revenues for June.
Now, I expect this is hit of the Borders failure and shutdown. The question is, will there be a rebound after the Borders inventory has been liquidated?
I did expect Ebook sales to be slightly better in June. If Ebook sales had truly followed the 2011 growth curve, they would have been $83 million versus $80 million. Is that significant? Since more than a few indie authors report a drought and blamed the 'Sunshine Deals,' which favored AAP publishers, I suspect the real reason was we finally broke the crappy winter weather and people went out and played. Then again, growth has been so tremendous in 2011, we can take a breather.
But you come here for the charts, so here they are.
Overall, ebook growth is still faster than the 2010 growth trend by quite the margin!
I'm resurrecting an old chart format. This is by year ebook sales with 'events' that I believe helped shape AAP ebook sales. I'm rather surprised that the 'Sunshine Deals' didn't spike up sales further.
I've noted before that ebooks jump in market share at the start of the year. We seem to be holding to the pattern but a different month to month variation over prior years:
Edit: I had bad links in the excel sheet on this chart. Mea culpa and corrected 2:30pm 9/11/2011
I've started a new chart: A comparison of how that month's sales did versus the nominal for the last few years, 2010, and a trend. Print books are slowing quickly. 80% of the prior year's sales except for kids books which are doing much better. Ebooks have fast growth and while I commented about June, graphically it looks like it is just maintaining 2011 growth with a little noise. Edit: Don't get excited about MMPB doing a little better than prediction; my once favorite format is in decline. June is MMPB's 'month to shine.' So it did better than falling off a cliff, but not by much. :(
Trade print was very weak. Adult paperback and MMPB and thrashing print sales. More on that later.
Adult hardcover was OK. The weak side of OK, but ok.
Adult paperback fell off a cliff. Nothing seasonal about this drop. It is the changes in the industry that are happening. The question is, will any other bookstore step into Borders space of selling high volumes of paperbacks?
My pre-ebook favorite form factor was MMPB. MMPB is on life support. It cannot survive at these low sales.
It makes me happy to see how well kids books are doing. :)
I like the bar chart to emphasize how strong, versus prior years, ebooks are doing. :)
I'll go out of order in the seasonal charts and show just how nicely childrens books are selling. :)
Again, hardcover is OK, but weak:
One didn't have to plot a seasonal chart to see that paperback books fell off a cliff.
I usually comment on how poorly MMPB is doing, but adult paperback made this category look 'better than usual.' But MMPB is weak and is pulling down trade print sales.
Overall, June was a weak month for books sales. While ebooks did well, the wholesale side of the business took a hit due to the Boarders bankruptcy to the tune of about an 11% cut in revenue. I wonder if there will be a snap back after the liquidation (which is still going on in September)? Or is this just a setup to selling ereaders and tablets?