PA: digital book industry now 5% of total sales

<p>UK publishers saw a 27% increase in digital sales over the two years to 2009, taking just over &pound;150m in revenue last year, according to figures from the <em>Publishers Association Statistics Yearbook</em> released today (16th April). </p><p>Those publishers contributing to the statistics&mdash;approximately 67% of the industry by turnover&mdash; saw digital sales grow by 20% from 2008, when they stood at &pound;75-80m. The &pound;150m figure represents 4-5% of the combined physical and digital sales of UK publishers.</p><p>Of the &pound;150m, &pound;5m came from general consumer titles, with nearly half of that from e-book downloads, while the majority - &pound;130m - was generated by the academic and professional sector.</p><p> However, trade publishing - including fiction, general non-fiction and children&#39;s books - saw the biggest increase, up three-fold on 2008. Academic/professional rose by 22% and consumer reference by 22%, while school/ELT declined by 18%.</p><p>Simon Juden, chief executive of the PA said: &quot;These statistics offer a unique snapshot of the burgeoning digital book industry. Whilst the market for digital products such as e-books and audiobooks is still in its infancy, the statistics show that there has been remarkable growth in publishers sales of these products since 2007, when we began collecting this data. </p><p>&quot;The migration of revenues from purely physical to a mixed, increasingly digital ecology has clearly begun, and the launch of new e-readers and platforms will only serve to facilitate this process.&quot;</p><p>Simon Allen, senior vice-president at McGraw-Hill, and president of the PA, added: &quot;The opportunity for trade publishers, arguably even more so than in the professional and education sectors where the market and audience are more defined, is the possibility that e-books will find many new readers and increase the size of the pie. </p><p>Too few people read books &ndash; in any form &ndash; and ny technological advance that shifts this behaviour is good not just for the publishing industry but for society.&quot;</p><p><em>The Publishers Association Statistics Yearbook</em> is released on 23rd April.</p>