In what would come as a surprise to many, especially those swearing by their exhaustive collection of sweet-smelling hardcovers, the revenues of eBooks have raced ahead. According to March Association of American Publishers' (AAP) net sales revenue report, sales of adult eBooks reached $282.3 million, while that of adult hardcover sales counted $229.6 million during the first quarter of 2012. And,  during the same period last year, hardcover accounted for $335 million in sales, while that of eBooks were $220.4 million. However, the YA/Children’s category, at the same time, saw growth in the hardcover revenues ($187.7 million for Q1), which is up nearly 67 percent. While, eBook sales in the same category reached almost 233 percent to $64.3 million.

Total Trade net revenue grew by +27.1% vs January 2011. Growth was reflected across Adult, Children’s/Young Adult and Religious categories. 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.

eBooks (Image credit: Getty Images)

eBooks race ahead of hardcovers in revenues (Image credit: Getty Images)

According to a post on the official website of the AAP, here are the highlights of the January 2012 Monthly StatShot:

Adult books

  • Hardcover: $69.8M in January 2012; $57.4M in January 2011; +21.6% increase
  • Trade Paperbacks: $105.1M in Jan 2012; $99.1M in Jan 2011; +6.1% increase
  • Mass Market Paperbacks: $30.4M in Jan 2012; $39.3M in Jan 2011; -22.5% decrease
  • eBooks: $99.5M in Jan 2012; $66.6M in Jan 2011; +49.4% increase
  • Downloaded Audiobooks $8.4M in Jan 2012; $6.5M in Jan 2011; +29.4% increase

Children’s/Young Adult

  • Hardcover: $57.4M in Jan 2012; $34.0M in Jan 2011; +68.9% increase
  • Paperbacks: $38.0M in Jan 2012; $23.5M in Jan 2011; +61.9% increase
  • eBooks: (new AAP category) $22.6M in Jan 2012; $3.9M in Jan 2011; +475.1% increase

Religious (new AAP categories)

  • Hardcover: $39.6M in Jan 2012; $38.4M in Jan 2011; +2.9% increase
  • Paperbacks: $5.3M in Jan 2012; $5.9M in Jan 2011; -10.3% decrease
  • eBooks: $6.7M in Jan 2012; $2.7M in Jan 2011; +150.7M increase

Total Trade

  • Total Overall: $503.5M in Jan 2012; $396.0M in Jan 2011; +27.1% increase
  • Total Adult Trade: $323.0M in Jan 2012; $277.4M in Jan 2011; +16.4% increase
  • Total Children/YA: $128.2M in Jan 2012; $71.0M in Jan 2011; +80.5% increase
  • Total Religious: $52.4M in Jan 2012; $47.7M in Jan 2011; +9.9%

Publish date: June 16, 2012 4:26 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 10:32 pm

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