We’ve all heard the saying “Everything that’s old is new again.” In the book realm, that statement couldn’t ring more true, as sales of traditional print books increased almost 3%, while sales of e-books dipped. As a result, e-books’ share of the total market slipped from 27% in 2014 to 24% last year. That said, however, certain genres maintained a larger share in the digital realm than others, including Romance and Thrillers.
Despite the slight shift in total e-book sales, one channel within the digital space saw significant growth: smartphones. In fact, e-book consumption via smartphone grew from 7.6% in 2014 to 14.3% in 2015, which is yet another signal of how ubiquitous our handheld best friends have become.
In looking at category trends, non-fiction was the highlight of 2015, with 12% growth in children’s non-fiction and 7% growth in adult non-fiction. On the fiction front, the big gainers were science fiction (44%), classics (32%) and graphic novels (22%). Adult coloring books also had a breakout year, with an estimated 12 million copies sold in 2015, compared with 1 million in 2014.
BookScan’s total print book sales of 653 million units were up 2.8% in units from 2014. On the flip side, traditionally published e-books were down 13% in units according to PubTrack Digital, which tracks POS data through publishers for approximately 85% of the traditionally published e-book market.