#PubNewsCheat: E-book Sales Still Rising, Random Invests in Flat World

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson


Our cheat sheet to some of last week’s notable publishing news from around the world…

By Hannah Johnson

Last week, both Nielsen BookScan and the Association of American Publishers reported that print sales in the USA continue to fall as e-book sales are rising. The AAP figures showed that print sales declined by 25% across all segments in the first two months of 2011, while e-book sales rose by 18.4%. Nielsen BookScan reported that mass market paperback sales fell 26.6% in the first quarter of 2011. The full impact of Borders store closings has not yet taken effect, but publishers can expect to see further print sales decline over the coming months. (Source: Publishers Weekly.)

On a similar note, HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray spoke at the London Book Fair, saying that the growth in e-reader sales in the US is having a huge impact on the publishing industry. Murray said that heavy readers no longer visit bookstores, and for some books, e-book sales represent 50% of sales during the first months of the books’ release. US trade publishers are expecting 25% of revenue to come from e-books in 2011. (Source: The Bookseller.)

Flat World Knowledge, which makes textbooks available for free online and for purchase in various other formats, received an investment from Random House earlier in April. This is a big step, as many publishers in the past have not embraced business models that include giving away content or publishing under Creative Commons. (More information on Flat World Knowledge.)

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.