US e-book sales down 6% in 2014

US e-book sales down 6% in 2014

E-book sales in the US declined by 6% in 2014 compared to the year before, statistics released by Nielsen show.

Information presented at BookExpo America and derived from PubTrack Digital, which collects e-book sales data from more than 30 of the largest publishers in the US, showed that in 2014 just under 223 million e-books were sold in America, down from almost 240 million units in 2013. E-books made up 26% of all book sales in 2014, down from 28% in 2013.

Adult fiction had the highest percentage of e-book sales, with 51% of sales purchased in the category bought in digital format. The biggest genres in that category for e-books in 2014 were general fiction, romance, suspense, mystery and fantasy, which were all more than 50% e-book. 

Sales of e-books in juvenile fiction grew 10% in 2014, but e-books still only account for 15% of all sales in the category.

Teenagers still prefer print books, with 24% telling Nielsen Children’s Deep Dive research in autumn 2014 that they strongly prefer print books”, which 30% saying that “generally prefer print books but are open to e-books”.

Of the people who have bought books in the last six months, Nielsen said 49% had bought both physical and digital books, while just 9% bought e-books only.