Sales of printed romance books have fallen for the first time since records began at a time when e-book sales have more than doubled according to Nielsen BookScan data. The growth in e-book sales in science-fiction also seem to be doing well.
The data was released as part of a seminar with Enders Analysis, 'Digital Seminar: e-books and their impact on the market'. It showed genres such as science fiction and romance are “overperforming” thanks to the tastes of early adopters of e-books.
Julie Meynink, business development director of Nielsen BookScan, said though it was early days, data from Nielsen BookScan US, which globally represents the biggest share of e-book sales, showed a decline in print sales within these two sectors.
In the year to date sales of romance books in the US are down 7.5%, while science-fiction and fantasy sales are down. Estimated e-book sales from the Association of American Publishers show that the e-book market has risen 10-times since 2008, with sales accelerating this year with sales over the first two quarters up 180% on 2009.
Talking generally about the presentation, Evans said there was a tendency for observers to overestimate the short term effects of going digital and underestimate the long term impacts. He said it took ten years for the album sales to halve, and it could take longer for digital to have the same impact in the book world. Adoption is likely to prove “lumpier”, with early adopters a small niche of the overall consumer demographic. “E-book adoption will vary widely by demographic and genre,” he said.
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