UK: Volume of eBook Purchases Rising But Value of eBook Sales Shrinking

Posted on February 14, 2012 by


From a BML/ProQuest News Release:

E-book sales are rising to offset a decline in physical book purchases, but only in volume. With the lower price points of e-books versus their print counterparts, the value of book sales is shrinking.”

“The Books & Consumers survey shows that in the 48 weeks ending 27th November 2011, compared to the same period the previous year, British consumers’ purchases of physical books declined by 4%, with value down some 6%. However, with e-book purchases included, the total consumer book market grew very slightly in volume terms, up 0.4%, with a market value drop of 3% overall.

“The survey also looks at how the e-book industry fares by genre. The adult fiction market saw spectacular e-book growth in 2011, up from 2.8% of purchases in the four weeks ending 26th December 2010 to 12.5% in the four weeks to 27th November 2011. But again, as e-books are being bought for lower prices, they accounted for only 7.1% of adult fiction spending in the latest period.

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Prices for e-books are climbing slightly, but are still significantly  less than print books. The latest average price for a fiction e-book rose to £3.39, while fiction paperbacks averaged £4.96 and fiction hardbacks averaged more than £7.08.


Older buyers – 60-79 year olds – are outpacing their younger counterparts in the purchase of e-books. They now account for just over a quarter of the e-book market in value terms.

Read the Complete News Release

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