US E-book Sales top $30m in January, Matching Kids Hardcovers

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

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By Edward Nawotka

Perhaps fueled by people filling up the new e-readers they received over the holidays, e-book sales in January jumped a drastic 261.2% over the same period last year in the United States, according  to the most recent statistics released by the AAP. As a category e-book sales equaled that of children’s/YA hardcover book sales, which fell 41.6%, demonstrating an interesting shift in sales patterns (kids don’t, apparently, get many books in January).  Overall, sales fell 0.7%, to $814.9 million, compared to the same period last year.

Here’s the breakdown of sales, as compiled from data offered by some 85 publishers (thanks to for the chart):

Percent Change
$31.9 million
$94.6 million 35.7%
Higher education
$384.3million 7.9%
$10.6 million
Adult paperback
$103.2 million 0.8%
Adult hardcover $55.6 million −8.1%
Adult mass market $56 million
University press hardcover $5.1 million −0.5%
University press paperback
$7.7 million −9.4%
Religious books $42.2 million −14.6%
Children’s/YA paperback $30.7 million
Professional and scholarly $51.5 million −20.4%
Children’s/YA hardcover
$31.7 million

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.