All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.


New data from the Association of American Publishers shows that a lot of y’all got e-readers over the holidays. Year-over-year, e-book sales have skyrocketed, especially for young adult and kids’ titles.

In January 2011, publishers sold 3.9 million children’s and young adults e-books. One year later, that monthly sales figure is up to a whopping 22.6 million.

For the older set, e-books are also showing huge growth, surging from 66.6 million e-books sold in January 2011 to 99.5 million sold in January 2012.

In fact, adult e-books are set to overtake adult paperbacks as the highest volume product for publishers in America. This past January, paperbacks outsold e-books by less than 6 million units; if e-book market growth continues, it will have far outpaced paperbacks to become the number-one category for U.S. publishers.

As it is, e-books accounted for 31.1 percent of all young adult, children’s, and adult book sales in January 2012, up from 24.8 percent in January 2011.

All in all, January 2012 was a good month for publishers, with overall sales up 27 percent and sales in the children’s/young adult category up 80.5 percent.

At VentureBeat HQ, we’re hardly surprised by these stats. We were watching the white-hot e-reader/tablet/hybrid gadgets market between last November and now, and what we saw completely backs up the e-book sales growth.

For example, we noted that tablet ownership doubled over the holidays — a feat that was in no small part due to the wild success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Shortly after Kindle Fire pre-sales began in September 2011, the company announced it was selling the device at a rate of one million units per week.

“Kindle Fire is the most successful product we’ve ever launched -– it’s the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks; we’ve already sold millions of units, and we’re building millions more to meet the high demand,” said Dave Limp, Amazon’s Kindle-focused vice president, shortly before the January e-book sales began.

Top image courtesy of Catherine Murray, Shutterstock

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member