E-book sales in US overtake sales of audio books

<p>Sales of e-books overtook those of audiobooks in the US in 2009, with sales rising more than 170%, according to data published by the Association of American Publishers. The AAP also found that overall book sales in the US fell 1.8%.<br /><br />The report, which uses data from the Bureau of the Census as well as sales data from eighty-six publishers, estimates that US publishers had net sales of $23.9bn in 2009, down from $24.3bn in 2008, representing a 1.8% decrease. However, in the last seven years the industry had a compound annual growth rate of 1.1%.</p><p>The biggest change over the year was the growth in e-book sales, with sales reaching $313m in 2009, up 176.6%. This meant the the digital book market is now bigger than audio book sales for the first time, with audio book sales for 2009 worth $192m, down 12.9% on the prior year. E-book sales have shown compound growth of 71% since 2002 when they were worth a paltry &pound;7.3m. </p><p>Elsewhere, trade sales of adult and juvenile books were steady at $8.1bn in 2009. Adult hardback books grew 6.9% to $2.6bn in 2009, however paperback books fell 5.2% to $2.2bn. Hardback books in the children and young adult category fell 5% to $1.7bn while their paperback equivalent grew 2.2% to $1.5bn. Mass market paperbacks decreased 4%, with total sales at $1bn in 2009.<br /></p>