I’m not sure that there is one “best source” for book sales figures. Different organizations compile them in different manners. However, the Association of American Publishers seems to be as accurate as I’ve personally seen.

I read this latest update on Shelf Awareness and found it interesting. Hence, passing it on to you.

Net book sales fell 1.3% to $1.5 billion in July, as reported by 87 publishers to the Association of American Publishers. For the year to date, sales have risen 8.1% to $5.7 billion.

As usual each month this year, e-book sales have risen dramatically. For the year to date, e-book sales are up 191% to $219.5 million although the rate of increase slowed slightly in July.

Category Sales in millions % change
E-books $40.8 million 150.2%
Downloaded audiobooks $6.6 million 38.4%
University press hardcover $6 million 20.9%
Professional books $123.8 million 5%
K-12/El-Hi $729.9 million 4.2%
Higher education $926.4 million 0.2%
Children’s/YA $50 million -1.7%
University press paperback $7.8 million -2%
Adult paperback $111.1 million -10.1%
Adult mass market $60.6 million -11%
Religious books $37.4 million -11.9%
Adult hardcover $74.1 million -15.2%
Hardcover children’s/YA $45.1 million -19.1%
Physical audiobooks $8.7 million -35.6%

I specifically liked the category breakdown. E-books are here to stay for a while. One should keep that in mind when formatting your books.

Personally, I like bulleted lists, charts, graphs, etc. At this point, they do not transfer well to e-books. That is not to say the technology may not improve vastly during the next year or two. But if you are publishing soon, keep that in mind.

Maralyn D. Hill, President
International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Books By Hills Success With Writing Where & What in the World
Member: Society of Professional JournalistsFinalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, “$uccess, Your Path to a Successful Book,”