U.S. Book Publishers’ Online Revenue Now Exceeds Traditional Retail Revenue

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Brick-and-mortar book stores have clearly been on the decline for a while — just look at Barnes & Noble’s rocky finances. However, there’s now some tangible evidence that the pendulum has swung in favor of internet-based sales. BookStats estimates that US publishers made more money from online orders and e-books in 2013 ($7.54 billion) than they did from old-fashioned physical retail ($7.12 billion). While the difference isn’t huge, it suggests that a large chunk of the American population is content with buying books that it hasn’t seen in person. There is a bit of a dark cloud to this silver lining, at least for the booksellers. BookStats notes that e-book sales jumped about 10 percent to 512.7 million copies, but revenue was flat between 2012 and 2013; it may have been lower prices that triggered a surge in demand, not a renewed interest in going digital.

Read the full story at Engadget and the original BookStats press release.

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